AnalysisNFL Draft 2012OpinionSpeculationTransaction

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.

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Adam Warwas

Adam Warwas (Founder) has been writing about the Vikings for a total of eight years. Five of those years have been here at Vikings Territory where he continues to surround himself with enough talented individuals that people keep coming back. As proud as he is of what Vikings Territory has become, his real treasures are in his home... a beautiful wife and three amazing children (and a dog named Percy).

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  1. might’ve been a bit of a reach, but we so badly needed a safety and had the extra picks, it makes sense

    paul krause ll

  2. i happened to like the pick and thought we had a heck of a first round…we got kalil and smith…which i hoped were gunna be our first picks…plus picked up a couple of picks…ricky really surprised me…my first thought was we gunna trade right outta the first round…not get two picks in the 1st.

  3. I disagree that we overpaid. I realize the charts say we may have, but so many more factors must be taken into account. Considering we had an extra 4th from a trade and 2 comps, I feel we gave up very little to guarantee the top player left on our board

  4. Don’t get me started on that “reach” stuff. We met two of our most glaring needs by aquiring first round quality players. That’s the only thing that matters when the team takes the field..

  5. Overpaying is one thing. Moving up too far compounds the mistake.

    Teams who were considered to have prominent DB/safety need were NE, Tampa, St. Louis and maybe Indianapolis. Viking moved up from # 35 to #29 or six spots to jump these teams.

    Ravens gladly made the trade down for full value as their secondary was set. 49’ers at #30 were also set and would hardly be considering safety as a first round priority. NE had a need but had already moved the # 31 pick to Tampa. The Buc were moving up for the running back they passed on when Trent Robinson went to Cleveland. Plus Buc had already selected Mark Barron so they were staying. Giant at # 32 also had no interest in Safety. At # 33 it was possible for Indianapolis to select a DB but unlikely as they had many chances all day and never spent of secondary. Team most interested in Harrison Smith was Ram who later selected the next Safety available.

    Viking moved up five picks to # 29 when they needed to move up two picks to #33 or four picks to # 31. (Though Tampa was unlikely to allow teams with RB need to move ahead of them). Colt was opening pick on opening day and they may have been asking a premium. I would have gladly paid the premium giving up a fifth pick round pick to move up a couple of spots. Losing the 4th round pick (#98) turned out to be a costly for overall Vike draft plan.

    We must have liked Harrison Smith an awful lot because we overpaid and moved farther than needed.

    1. You assume that nobody else would have traded up to get the player, leapfrogging the Vikings. Aparently, that was a risk they weren’t willing to take which is telling as far as how much they wanted him on thier team.