With the NFL Draft starting tomorrow night in Philadelphia, fans of the Minnesota Vikings won't have much more than a passing interest, as they do not currently have a first round selection. And chances are they won't make a trade in to the first round, if there's any truth to what Vikings GM Rick Spielman said yesterday in his final press conference before the draft:
I think just looking at where this is, for one, it's a pretty significant jump and pretty costly to go from where we are picking in the second round all the way back into the first. Two, I think there are a lot of quality players through the second, third and fourth rounds that can be significant players for us next year coming in. But you never know if something falls out of the sky that's just too good or you make that happen. But I would say as I'm standing here today, that's an unlikely scenario at this point.
Remember, take anything you hear from any GM this time of year with a grain of salt, but Spielman is speaking the truth. Early last month, we looked at the cost of the Vikings getting back in to the first round, and it is, indeed, costly.
But that doesn't mean the Vikings won't try and move up in to the second round. I'd like to look at a couple different scenarios to see how this could play out, if you don't mind. The first involves just moving up from 16th (48th overall) to a higher position in the second round, and the second one involves making a trade that ends up with the Vikings having two second round picks.
Like I did the first time, I'm just going to use the current Trade Value Chart, and not include any picks for next year or players. Doing that leads to a lot of rabbit holes that I don't really want to write about, and you probably don't want to read about. Cool? Cool.
Scenario One, Moving Up:
The Vikings second round pick has a current value of 420 points (insert 420 jokes here). If they want to move up, they will need to make up a deficit of anywhere from 10 points (Baltimore's 47th overall pick) to 160 points, which is Cleveland's 33rd overall pick, worth 580 points.
Moving up just several spots wouldn't be much of an issue, just in terms of numbers. The Vikings sixth round pick (199 overall), is worth 11.4 points, so a swap of 2nd round picks with their 6th round pick thrown in could conceivably do the deal, but only for a spot or two. If they want to move up about five spots, their 5th and 6th round picks account for 38.4 points. Add that to the 420 points their second round pick is worth, and that gets them in the 43-44 overall neighborhood.
The advantage to moving up just a couple spots is that they still retain both picks in the third and fourth rounds, but I'm not sure Rick Spielman would like a draft of one second round pick, 2 thirds, 2 fourths, and a 7th. That seems like a heavy price to pay for just moving up four or five spots.
Let's look at the third round picks in terms of packaging a deal. If they want to make a move to 33, their second pick in the third round (86 overall) is worth exactly 160 points, which is the deficit they would have to make up. Obviously, there's no guarantee that Cleveland would accept the offer, but if they did, I could accept losing their second pick in the third round and in exchange go from 48 to 33. Heck, if you want to look at their first pick in that round (79 overall), that's worth 195 points, and when you add that to their second round pick, that's in the range of the last three picks in the first round.
But let's not go there. Let's just stick to the second round.
Okay, let's look at packaging the fourth round picks. They have the 13th (120th overall) and 21st (128th) picks in that round. 120 overall is worth 54 points, and 128 is worth 44. Simple math tells me that's 98 points, and because I went to a public school let's round that up to 100. If they package both picks along with their second rounder, 100 points gets them in the neighborhood of 37 through 39, or picks 5-7 of the second round. Packaging either of them on their own with their second round pick gets a nominal bump of 3-4 spots.
If it's me, I think I'd rather keep both fourth round picks if we're only talking about a 3-4 spot bump, but I would be inclined to buy into moving up 10 spots for both fourth round picks, depending on who they pick.
Scenario 2, Having Two Second Round Picks:
Now let's take the 420 points that the Vikings second round pick is worth out of the equation, and see if we still can't get an additional second round pick.
In my Mock 5.0 last week, I did just this very thing. I packaged both of my third round picks (355 total points) in a trade with Miami, who has the 54th overall pick (22nd selection in round 2). And sacrificing both third round picks is really about the best option, if you want to have two second round picks. That still gives you two fourth round picks, plus your picks in rounds 5-7. So you still get a combination of quantity and quality in your draft class, and you only lose one net pick in this draft class.
What about packaging both fourth round picks to make a deal? Well, in terms of trade value, you can't get there from here. Those picks combined are only worth 98 points, and the lowest value pick in the second round is Carolina's pick 64, which sits at 270 points, well short of that total. Even packaging the top picks in each of round three and four, 79 and 120 overall, leaves you short of Carolina's second round pick by 21 points.
Now, you could take those two fourth round picks plus the Vikings fifth round pick (160, worth 27.4 points) to get you over the numerical threshold, but now you're looking at three picks for one, and that one is at the very bottom of the second round. At that point you have to ask yourself if that's worth it or not. Yes, you have two second round picks and two third round picks, but you have no picks in rounds 4-5. I'm inclined to say no, but that's just me, and again, it depends on who the Vikings would be targeting.
I don't know what trades the Vikings will make, but based on recent history, I think the Vikings will make multiple deals over the course of draft weekend.