One of the main offseason storylines for the Minnesota Vikings has been the futures of GM Rick Spielman and head coach Mike Zimmer. There were rumors floating around before the NFC Wildcard round of the playoffs that both Spielman and Zimmer would be let go if the Vikes suffered an embarrassing loss to the Saints.
The Vikings won an overtime thriller, and although they lost the following week to the San Francisco 49ers in the NFC divisional playoff round, that Saints playoff win essentially secured the jobs of both men through this season. And although there have been rumors of contract extensions for both Spielman and Zimmer, to date that hasn’t happened for either, at least not yet. But some moves Spielman made seemed to indicate he knows where he’ll be working in 2021.
Overall, the Vikings made five trades affecting this draft. Let’s take a look at them, and see how it all shook out.
It started off with the trade with Buffalo last month that sent Stefon Diggs to the Bills, and in return the Vikings got pick 22, 155 and 201 in this draft, and a 2021 fourth round pick. We’ll circle back and wrap up this trade in a bit, as some of these picks were affected in later trades.
Pick 22: Justin Jefferson, WR, LSU
Pick 155: Traded to the Chicago Bears for a 2021 fourth round pick.
Pick 201: Part of a trade to Baltimore for pick 225 and a 2021 5th round pick.
So, if you kinda-sorta want to put a bow on this trade, the Vikings traded Diggs to Buffalo for WR Justin Jefferson, a 2021 fourth round pick, pick 225, and half a draft pick haha.
If Jefferson works out, this will end up being a good deal.
When they were on the clock at pick 25, they traded that to San Francisco, in exchange for pick 31, 117, and 176.
Pick 31: Jeff Gladney, CB, TCU
Pick 117: Jeff Wonnum, DE, South Carolina
Pick 176: K,J. Osborn, WR, Miami
Minnesota still got a top rated cornerback, and then used the later picks for roster depth. I would say this is a good deal based on the Gladney pick alone, but again, only time will tell whether this ends up being a good deal.
The Vikings traded pick 105 overall to New Orleans for picks 130, 169, 203, and 244.
Pick 130: James Lynch, DT, Baylor
Pick 169: Harrison Hand, CB, Temple
Pick 2013: Blake Brandel, T, Oregon State
Pick 244: Nate Stanley, QB, Iowa
If you’ll remember, 105 was a compensatory pick from losing DT Sheldon Richardson to free agency. The Vikings essentially got four guys, including a dude that could replace Richardson, for one year of his service. Which we thank him for.
Oh, the Saints? Yeah they moved all those picks to trade up for a tight end. From the MAC. And then they gave Taysom Hill way too much money.
Eff those guys.
Pick 155 was one of the picks the Vikings got from Buffalo in the Diggs deal, and they traded it to the Bears for a 2021 fourth round pick. That’s been added up above.
Pick 201 was also one of the picks from the Bills, and they traded that to Baltimore for pick 225 and a 2021 fifth round pick.
Pick 225: Kenny Willekes, DE, Michigan St
In essence, Rick Spielman whacked Stefon Diggs, got a DE that will push for a rotational role on the defensive line, and got back his fifth round pick he traded them to Baltimore for K Kaare Vedvik, a kicker they acquired during training camp last year to push Dan Bailey.
The Vikings cut him a couple weeks later, and people eviscerated Spielman and the Vikings for that whole episode.
But Don Corleone Spielman has a long memory, and eventually settles all family business. Maybe not tomorrow, and maybe he has to go to Sicily for a year and watch his smokeshow of a wife get blown up by a car bomb, but eventually, he evens the score and cements his position as the boss.
If you look at how the Vikings drafted this weekend, itt seems to indicate someone either isn’t worried about their job security or has been privately told he’ll be back in 2021. Personally, I don’t think a guy who isn’t sure about his future makes a trade using 2020 draft picks for 2021 picks, but Spielman did that twice this past weekend.
It’s not personal, it’s just business.