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ESPN: Vikings made the best trade of draft weekend

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As expected

Wild Card Round - Minnesota Vikings v New Orleans Saints Photo by Jonathan Bachman/Getty Images

In the 2020 NFL Draft, the Minnesota Vikings did a lot of moving around the board. They gained a lot of extra selections, even parlaying a couple of them into picks for the 2021 NFL Draft. According to ESPN, one of the deals that the Vikings made was the best deal that anyone made throughout the three days of this year’s selection meeting.

Behind the great E$PN paywall, Seth Walder ranked the five best trades that teams made over the course of the 2020 NFL Draft, and ranked Minnesota’s Thursday night deal with the San Francisco 49ers as the draft’s best trade.

But the Vikings deserve credit, too. They were presented with an offer that moved them down six spots and paid them much more than those six spots are worth, and they took the deal.

Cumulatively, the Vikings’ four pick-for-pick trades in this draft netted them surplus value worth a pick in the middle of the second round. That could be nudged in either direction a bit, depending on how one views picks for 2021 (we credited them as being worth 90% of a present pick), but regardless, the result is clear: Minnesota’s process increased its expected output from the draft.

The 49ers wound up selecting Arizona State wide receiver Brandon Aiyuk with the pick that they acquired from Minnesota. Walder’s article says that there was a better than 50/50 chance that Aiyuk would have been available at #31, where the Niners were originally slated to pick. Meanwhile the Vikings accepted a fourth-round and fifth-round pick from the Niners, moved down six spots, and took a guy that they were likely considering at #25 anyway in Texas Christian cornerback Jeff Gladney.

As we’ve pointed out over the past couple of days, the consensus seems to be that the Vikings did an outstanding job overall in last weekend’s NFL Draft. That they got as much value as they did with all the deals they made sort of speaks to that as well.