Still in a holding pattern in terms of moves to free up cap space. Could be this way until the draft.
Since yore last open thread ...
Vikings lose CB/ST Kris Boyd to Arizona Cardinals
I am going to include the SBNation Live Draft I participated in from April 9th through April 11th. This is for true Draft Doofuses and Wannabe GMs.
Going into the draft, I was unsure about taking a QB. The Vikings did not extend Kirk Cousins and the two sides only agreed on restructuring his deal. The took his 20M roster bonus and converted it to a signing bonus while adding two more void years to lower his cap number by 16M. This move gave the team the flexibility that GM Kwesi Adofo-Mensah stated that he wanted. The Vikings could try to extend Cousins after the season and if unable to come to an agreement, the team will take a 28.5M dead money cap hit. This leaves the direction of the draft really up in the air. The team could go any direction and could trade up for a QB that they like.
Even with the savings from Cousins and other releases and signings, the team headed into this exercise with about 1.4M in cap space which was the least amount in the NFL (at the time). Thus, I needed to make some moves.
First, I traded OLB Za’Darius Smith plus the 87th pick to the San Francisco 49ers for the 99th, 102nd, 155th, 164th, & 216th picks. Now some would say this is ridiculous for the 49ers to give up all those picks. But I considered it two transactions.
First, Smith for picks 102 & 216. That is reasonable.
Second, pick 87 for picks 99, 155, & 164 which is 155 pts for 104+28.2+24.6=156.8 pts. Very fair.
Next, I traded RB Dalvin Cook plus the 102nd & 211th picks to the Miami Dolphins for the 84th & 185th picks.
Maybe not enough for Cook but his contract is tough to move. This comes out to about 88 points which is a high fourth.
These two moves created 21.5M in cap space according to the overthecap calculator.
As the draft unfolded, Will Levis was dropping. When it got to pick 17, I could not wait any longer and made a trade with the Bears. I sent the 23rd & 84th picks to the Bears for the 17th pick.
I selected the polarizing QB prospect, Will Levis. I am ecstatic to be able to get a potential QBOTF while only trading a third round pick. If he flames out, so be it. You miss every shot you do not take!
I had no second round pick due to Kwesi trading with the Detroit Lions last year to get T.J. Hockenson which provided immediate results. Since joining the Vikings, Hockenson was 2nd in yards receiving for all tight ends. Even though this draft class had several good looking tight ends, there is no guarantee they all will pan out. Hock is proven.
As the third round progressed, there was a player I was eyeing that continued to drop. I decided to move up to get him too. I traded the 99th and 185th picks to the Jets for pick 89. I selected Gervon Dexter. Dexter is another prospect that people are down on more than they should be. I guess his sack totals are not high enough. The dude played 682 snaps in 2022 and 481 in 2021. He is very athletic as proven by his 9.7 RAS score. He needs to improve in some areas but most prospects that enter the NFL do as well. He will fit very nicely as a 3-4 DT for the Vikings who signed Dean Lowry in free agency.
As we headed to day 3, I was still itching to make a move and was looking at rosters. I contacted the Broncos about the availability of Jerry Jeudy. Sean Payton said he wants to keep Jeudy and Sutton (head coaches and GMs love to tell the truth) but the Broncos wannabe GM in this silly exercise was open. We haggled a bit but ultimately agreed on a trade.
I traded the 158th pick and a 2024 2nd to the Broncos for Jeudy.
Was this too much or not enough? I looked at past trades as a guide.
Chase Claypool was traded for a 2nd round pick and I thought that was pretty close. He had 153 catches for 2044 yards with 12 TDs when he was dealt. Jeudy has 157 catches for 2295 yards and 9 TDs. You could argue I gave up to much but getting a talent like Jeudy for an extra 5th is not a big deal. You can easily get a 5th by trading down in the early rounds.
Of course, this is just a fun exercise among all of us wannabe GMs. I had already traded Smith and Cook so I said why not make this trade too. The Vikings lost Adam Thielen and only signed WR Brandon Powell in free agency. This trade allowed me to bypass receivers in this draft even though there are some nice ones I wanted like Bryce Ford-Wheaton and Andrei Iosivas.
In this exercise, the Vikings have Justin Jefferson (turns 24 June 16), Jerry Jeudy (turns 24 April 24), KJ Osborn (turns 25 June 10), and others. Nice.
So, I had 4 picks remaining on day 3 and while I tried to trade, I could not get offers I liked. Since the team only brought in Byron Murphy at corner, I knew I had better draft a corner or two otherwise the natives would have been really unhappy.
Eli Ricks is a good press corner in this draft which is exactly what Defensive Coordinator Brian Flores wants from his cornerbacks. Ricks has battled injuries and inconsistency but has had some good moments. Although his 40 times was revealed after I did this exercise. but there were 18 corners taken before pick 119. Flores should be able to coach him up.
I figured I needed to get a back after trading Dalvin Cook and once I saw Chase Brown still available in the 5th, I had to pull the trigger. I almost took Israel Abanikanda and it was a real toss up. I chose Brown due to his better production and slightly better athletic profile.
Before I took Cory Trice I debated taking an offensive linemen like Anthony Bradford, Juice Scruggs, and Jake Andrews. But I felt another excellent press corner was needed more. Trice had an excellent 9.66 RAS score and is 6’3” with 32 1/2” arms. He should be able to grow under Flores too.
I took LB Ben VanSumeren after he posted a 4.45 forty with a 1.52 ten yard split, a 42.5” vertical and a 10’11” broad jump. He did not start for Michigan State until this past season and his stats were OK. His athletic profile suggests that he could become a core special teams player while he is developing. You cannot teach speed. Since I had no more picks I decided to get a jump on UDFA by taking Vansumeren early. But knowing this group, he probably would have been taken.
Trade Partner: San Francisco 49ers
Sent: Za’Darius Smith, Round 3 Pick 87
Received: Round 3 Pick 36, Round 3 Pick 39, Round 5 Pick 20, Round 5 Pick 29, Round 6 Pick 39
Trade Partner: Miami Dolphins
Sent: Round 5 Pick 23, Future Round 2
Received: Jerry Jeudy
17: WILL LEVIS QB KENTUCKY 6’3.7 229
89: GERVON DEXTER DT FLORIDA 6’5.5” 310
119: ELI RICKS CB ALABAMA 6’2” 188
155: CHASE BROWN RB ILLINOIS 5’9.4” 209
164: CORY TRICE CB PURDUE 6’3.3” 206
216: BEN VANSUMEREN LB MICHIGAN STATE 6’2” 231
JASON TAYLOR II, S, OKLAHOMA STATE 5’11.5” 204
TAVIUS ROBINSON DE MISSISSIPPI 6’6.1” 257
DERIUS DAVIS WR TCU 5’8.3” 165
NASH JENSEN, OG, NORTH DAKOTA STATE 6’3.7” 322
NICO BOLDEN, S, KENT STATE 6’3.3” 208
PJ MUSTIPHER,DT,PENN STATE 6’3.7 320
EKU LEOTA,EDGE,AUBURN 6’3” 252
BRANDON KIPPER OT/OG OREGON STATE 6’5.4” 318
MALIK KNOWLES WR KANSAS STATE 6’2.2” 196
BUMPER POOL LB ARKANSAS 6’2.1” 235
GRIFFIN HEBERT FB LOUISIANA TECH 6’1.4” 239
TREVOR DOWNING C IOWA STATE 6’3.4” 299
DANIEL BARKER TE MICHIGAN STATE 6’3.2 243
JAIDEN WOODBEY SS/LB BOSTON COLLEGE 6’0.6” 222
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