Assessing The Value: Trading Up

Rick Spielman and the Vikings enjoyed their success in the first round that they decided to jump back into for a little more.

After completing a no-brainer trade at the top of the first round (read my assessment here), the team engaged in something a little more risky towards the end of the evening.

The Vikings traded their second round pick (#35) and their original fourth round pick (#98) for the Ravens first rounder (#29) and grabbed Notre Dame safety Harrison Smith.  Targeting Smith wasn’t a huge surprise as he has been the apple of many Vikings fans’ eye for months now, the team has a thing for Notre Dame players, and safety was arguably the team’s biggest need.

We will get into a more in-depth analysis of what Smith brings to the team a little later on, but from a trade value standpoint what exactly did the Vikings do?

According to the old Jimmy Johnson trade chart, found on this page, the Vikings gained 90 value points by moving from 35 to 29.  However, the fourth rounder they gave up is valued at 108 points so the Vikings overpaid a tad, according to this chart.

The newer “Harvard Chart” that claims to account for factors more accurately, including the new CBA, values the 29th pick at 208.7 points.  The 35th and 98th picks combine, according to this chart, for a point value of 268.5.  This chart suggests that Vikings overpaid by more than the old trade chart suggests, but both indicate that they overpaid.

The overpayment is slight, however, and the Vikings obviously targeted Smith enough to move up at all.  If they weren’t quite as smitten with the kid, then they probably would have been content to just sit back and see if he was there as an option at 35.

They got their guy, and it is hard to fault them for that even if they overpaid.  Heck, a few years back, they gave up more than that to move up a short distance and grab Toby Gerhart.  So, at the very least, this trade up was an improvement.

“I guess it went well down there,” Smith said of his work with Vikings staff at the Senior Bowl. “I really like playing for those guys and took to their coaching and I think we kind of got a good feel for each other.”

The Vikings obviously got a good enough “feel” for Harrison to overpay a bit in trading up to get him.