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2016 NFL Draft: A Look At Friday's Vikings/Dolphins Trade

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As the third round of the 2016 NFL Draft came to a close on Friday night, the Minnesota Vikings made a somewhat surprising move. When their selection came up at #86 overall, they made a trade with the Miami Dolphins to pick up extra compensation. That wasn't the surprising part. . .the surprising part was the nature of that compensation.

Rather than merely dropping down into the fourth round, as you'd normally expect, the Vikings got the Dolphins' sixth-round selection in this year's draft (#186 overall) and two mid-round selections in the 2017 NFL Draft. . .a third rounder and a conditional fourth rounder.

As far as the fourth round selection is concerned, the "conditions" surrounding it are whether or not it's a compensatory selection. The 2017 Draft will be the first time that teams will be allowed to trade compensatory draft picks (they have not been able to in years past). The fourth round pick that the Vikings receive from the Dolphins in 2017 will be their lowest fourth-round pick. If the Dolphins have a compensatory selection (or two) in the fourth round of next year's draft, that is the pick that will get sent to Minnesota, with it being the lowest one if they have multiple compensatory selections in Round 4. If they don't, it will be Miami's normally allotted fourth round selection.

This trade gives the Vikings nine picks in the 2017 Draft. . .a first, a second, two thirds, two fourths, a fifth, a sixth, and a seventh. So why did Rick Spielman take that level of compensation when there was still the potential to make a bunch of picks in this year's draft?

Because, as we've been saying all along. . .and as he told the media at Winter Park last night. . .it's going to be awfully hard for rookies to make this team in 2016.

Going through the logic on why that made sense to us or why that made sense to me to pull the trigger on that is a couple of things; looking at the depth and the players and what our current roster looks like this year; the 2nd point I always said I always try to look at what our roster and what are potential guys that are going to be coming out of contracts next year. 3rd, I would say the depth on the boards still left tomorrow. We feel very strongly that there are still a lot of very talented football players that we will be able to pick up and add to our roster. So those three things were kind of the thought process for doing the trade with Miami. In essence I get three players for the price of one, although I did bank two of those players for next year. In next year's draft, having an extra three and and extra four gives you a lot of flexibility to move around in those early rounds, either potentially going back into the 1st or moving around in the 2nd. We have a lot more flexibility next year than where I am anticipating we're going to be picking lower in the rounds, where you don't have as much flexibility.

The Vikings have a lot of players that are pending free agents after this season, including numerous players on the offensive line that are either in the last year of their contracts or were signed to one-year deals. The 2016 Vikings roster is very solid and stacked with a lot of good, young talent, and if the Vikings can start looking to the future while still giving themselves the ability to get themselves some solid players this year. . .and Spielman obviously feels that he can. . .then that's a pretty smart move for them to make.

Minnesota still has six selections coming on Day 3 of this year's draft, including two in the sixth round and two in the seventh. With the way things have gone so far, I'm guessing that we're still going to be relatively happy with Rick Spielman and company when the smoke clears and the dust settles on Saturday.