Vikings fans have grown accustomed to trades late in the first round from GM Rick Spielman – but don't expect it this year.
Without a pick in the first round of the NFL Draft Thursday night, Spielman says the depth of the draft coupled with how far down they pick in the second round – 48th overall – make trading up very difficult.
"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," Spielman said Wednesday, via Vikings.com. "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."
However, they're not without the arsenal to make a trade. They own a second-round pick (48 overall) and they have two third rounders and two fourth rounders. Theoretically, the ammo is there if the team identifies a player they want to move on.
Spielman did it in 2012 in a trade that landed All-Pro safety Harrison Smith. Minnesota used its second-round pick (35 overall) and a fourth-round pick (98 overall) to move back into the first round where they took Smith with the 29th pick.
He did it again in 2013 and took Cordarrelle Patterson 29th overall. To move up, Spielman had to give the Patriots a load of picks:
- 2013 2nd-round pick (52 overall)
- 2013 3rd-round pick (83)
- 2013 4th-round pick (102)
- 2013 7th-round pick (229)
Spielman did it for a third straight year in 2014 to get Teddy Bridgewater 32nd overall. That required the Vikings giving up a second (40 overall) and a fourth (108 overall).
It's pretty clear that unless Spielman wants to mortgage the future of the franchise, the only way he's trading into the first round will be for a late first-round pick.
The depth in this year's draft makes giving up those mid-round picks even harder.
“I think the depth of this draft class, especially in some of the areas we'll be looking at are very significant, I think through the mid rounds, and for us to have an extra third, an extra fourth this year, is going to pay dividends for us,” Spielman said.
The drafting madness, or lack thereof, begins Thursday at 7 p.m.