Going in to the NFL Draft, the Minnesota Vikings needed to address two key needs, wide receiver and cornerback. At wide receiver, a void was created with the trade of Stefon Diggs to Buffalo. On defense, the Vikings saw their three starting corners from last year—Xavier Rhodes, Trae Waynes, and Mackensie Alexander—either cut or leave for greener free agency pastures.
The Vikings not only took care of addressing those needs, but they have some irons in the fire elsewhere. ANd honestly, round one worked out even better than most people expected. Let’s recap.
Hours before the draft, it was reported that Minnesota was one of the finalists for Washington Redskins LT Trent Williams. Washington had been asking a steep price this offseason, but that tone changed yesterday, making a potential trade was reasonable from a compensation standpoint:
Paul Allen on KFAN said the #Vikings could be trading for Washington LT Trent Williams today with the compensation being a Day-3 pick.— Sean Borman (@SeanBormanNFL) April 23, 2020
Team can then focus on CB and WR in 1st round.
“Don’t be surprised if there’s more action for the purple & gold today than a Rambo movie.”
Most of you know I haven’t been on the Trent Williams train like a lot of folks have been. For one, I think Riley Reiff isn’t bad. Granted, he’s not Williams, but he’s not nearly as terrible as a lot of folks think. But Williams is also 32, has a concerning injury history, and didn’t play all of last year. All of that said, if the Vikes could land a guy with his talent for a day three pick?
Yeah, I make that move in a heartbeat. As for the salary cap, no I don’t know how they get his salary to fit. But if the Vikes are serious, they’ve done their homework and they’ll be able to get something done.
One of the other teams thought to be in on Williams was the Cleveland Browns, but with their 10th pick, they selected OT Jedrick Wills from Alabama. Taking a tackle that high tells me that they’ve passed on a trade for Williams, and the Williams to the Vikings talk is fairly legit. Whether something with Williams and the Vikings happens today, or this weekend, remains to be seen, but yes, I think there is fire to this smoke.
For the draft itself, it really looked like the Vikings were just gonna miss out on Justin Jefferson, who was number three WR on a lot of boards. CeeDee Lamb and Jerry Jeudy, the consensus one and two guys at that position both dropped, but were gone, and the Eagles picked right before the Vikings. They needed a WR as badly as the Vikings, and it seemed Jefferson was as good as drafted. But surprisingly, they nabbed TCU wideout Jalen Reagor, leaving Jefferson there for there for the taking. The Vikes didn’t overthink it, taking Jefferson with the pick they got from Buffalo in the Diggs trade.
A lot of folks were also speculating that the Vikings were looking to trade down from 25, and that’s exactly what happened. the 49ers traded pick 31, 117, and 176 to move up to 25. That gives them the remaining picks heading into day two:
The #Vikings remaining picks:— Daily Norseman, Skolcially Distancing Since '06 (@DailyNorseman) April 24, 2020
So they moved down six spots, picked up an extra fourth and fifth rounder, and still picked up one of the top cornerbacks available in Jeff Gladney. Sentimentally, I was hoping they were going to get Antoine Winfield, Jr., but Gladney was a really solid pick, and bolsters the cornerback position.
When you look at those remaining picks, one can only imagine that with two picks each in rounds 3-6, they have enough ammo to not only pull off a Trent Williams trade, but to move up in the second and/or third round to go after guys they’re targeting.
As we head into the last two days of the draft, the Vikings still have to address some needs. They need help on both lines, and despite the Jefferson and Gladney picks they still need more help at both positions. Depending on what happens with Anthony Harris, the Vikings might also need safety help, too.
I don’t know who they’re going to get, but I do know that with all those picks stashed in his pocket, Rick Spielman will be wheeling and dealing all weekend.
And I can’t wait.