Let’s (Perhaps Not) Make A Deal

Owner and CEO of the Indianapolis Colts Jim Irsay is suddenly no stranger to the “Quarterback Carousel” game that haunts many NFL teams.

For the first time in a very long time, he has had to evaluate this Draft class’ top quarterback prospects after giving away the identity of his franchise, Peyton Manning.  While it is widely expected that Irsay and company will ultimately select Stanford star Andrew Luck with the first overall pick, he recently made comments about Texas A&M quarterback Ryan Tannehill that would suggest the Vikings will at least receive some inquiries about the availability of the third overall selection.

Irsay’s recent tweet said, “Tannehill is a hidden gem in this draft, a quiet secret who was always sneaking up to #3..you want him, you better talk to Zigi The Biggie!”

Former Colts G.M. Bill Polian also took to the airwaves to suggest that the path to Tannehill will run through the third overall selection.  He predicted that the Miami Dolphins would trade up to the third spot giving the Vikings their eighth overall selection, their second rounder, and their third rounder to secure Tannehill.

Since trade speculation is starting to pick , Brett and I, who have somewhat different opinions on the topic, decided to create a debate post to start the conversation. We hope it will continue into the comments section with opinions from you all.

According to this post-lockout chart, the Vikings third overall selection is worth 401.3 points of value.  The eighth overall pick (318 points), second round pick (159.1), and third rounder (119.4) total 596.5 as a package which suggests the Vikings would be getting the better end of the deal.

Okay, on to the debate!

ADAM SAYS:  Let me start by saying I like the idea of drafting Matt Kalil.  However, if we were sitting at the eighth overall spot this year, I would hate it if the Vikings gave up a slew of picks to move up and snag him.  So, it stands to reason (in reverse), that I wouldn’t pass up on an offer of great value for the chance to draft Kalil.  Obviously, trading to the four spot with Cleveland would be the ideal situation, as the Browns could take Tannehill and the Vikings could still nab Kalil.  Heck, we could even give Cleveland a discount on the asking price in exchange for a guaranteed shot at Kalil.  A trade with Cleveland that dropped us to the four spot and got us an extra third rounder would be a heck of a deal.

I will also say, that the Vikings should try to gain future picks in these deals.  If you take the middle point value from the round being offered in 2013, you cut that point value in half.  For example, if a team offers the Vikings a second round pick in 2013 in a trade, that pick should be valued at about 75 points in 2012.  By this time next year, however, that pick would be worth between 129 and 175 points.  It doesn’t take a professional investor to figure out that the rate of return there is too good to pass up.

Brett Says: Before we begin, Adam, I want to let you know that I am an expert debater. So, do not expect to come away from this thing with a victory. Our readers will unanimously agree with me in the comments. Your resistance is futile! Also, I would like to propose that, from here on out, we only refer to our beloved Vikings owner as “Zigi the Biggie.” Now that we’ve got all that established…

The Vikings should not trade out of the #3 spot. Unless it is with Cleveland and they pinky promise not to take Kalil. That way, we could still acquire draft picks and get our guy. I understand that the Vikings have a plethora of holes to fill and that amassing as many picks as possible will go a long way in rebuilding this team. But, talent at left tackle like Matt Kalil does not come around and often. And, what do you know? Left tackle is our biggest position of need. (I am aware there our other opinions out there concerning the Vikings largest need. I just think, in a season that is all about Ponder, we need to protect him.) Matt Kalil is a guaranteed starter who will protect Ponder (or whoever our QB is…) for 10 years, barring any injuries.

You can’t pass up on that type of talent. Not for 2nd or 3rd round picks where you are much less likely to find a guy who is as much of a sure thing as Kalil.

Adam Says:  Child, please.  This is still my house, and the fine (and good looking) readers of VT are sure to recognize the wisdom of my words.

I’ll keep this rebuttal short.  If we were sitting at the eight spot, would you trade up to the three spot to grab Kalil?  If so, how many of our valuable picks would you trade away to grab this one player?  Is Kalil such a “sure thing” that you would be okay with delaying the rebuilding of this roster’s many other needs?

Brett Says: We’re talking two completely different things here. To answer your question, no, I would not trade up to take Matt Kalil. I am against giving away our valuable picks when we have so many needs to address. That doesn’t mean we shouldn’t take him though when we don’t have to give up anything to do so! Because I wouldn’t trade up to get Kalil means that we shouldn’t take him when we don’t have to give up picks? I don’t really understand your point here…

Matt Kalil is easily the best non-QB in this year’s draft class. In fact, he’s considered by a few to be one of the best left tackles to come out of college in quite some time. It’s ludicrous to pass on him when left tackle is such a pressing need for this team.

My turn for a question: Let’s say we do trade down to the #8 spot as the Polian scenario we’re debating suggests. What do you do now that you are at #8? There isn’t really anyone at #8 who fills our major needs? Kalil, Blackmon, Richardson, Claiborne and possibly Reiff will all be gone at that point. Do you reach on someone like Jonathan Martin or Michael Floyd? I’m sure you’d probably want to trade down even further (which I would agree with at that point) but, honestly, I doubt anyone would be interested considering the quarterbacks and other top-5 talents are gone.

What do you do when you are at #8 and you’ve missed out on Kalil?

Adam Says:  First off, if you leave a trade offer of a first, a second, and a third on the table and go ahead and select Kalil then you have indeed given up something to draft him… a second rounder, and a third rounder.

Secondly, I think you need to check your math.  If the first three picks are Luck, RGIII, and Tannehill then how could Kalil, Blackmon, Reiff, Claiborne, and Richardson all be off the board at the eighth spot?  Math isn’t necessarily my strong suit, but I do believe one of them (if not more) will be there for the taking or to act as trade bait for, yes, yet another trade backwards.

I also believe Kalil is the best non-quarterback in this class.  In fact, I think he is the second best player in this Draft, and I would love it if he were a part of this team.  However, the assessment you give of Kalil as a prospect is debatable and is surely being discussed by scouts far more qualified than you or I and I can guarantee that it isn’t as clear of a choice as you think it might be.  Kalil doesn’t exactly have any red flags… but he does have a few pinkish colored ones.

If the Vikings ended up getting (for example) Blackmon, Mike Adams, and an extra third round pick instead of Kalil and Jeffery I think that could be a better scenario than people might think.

Brett Says: Alright, alright… I messed up a bit – forgot that Tannehill would be taking one of those spots. So, we would probably have a shot at Reiff. But honestly, that doesn’t make me feel any better about missing out on Kalil. Maybe I’m in the minority here, but I still think that a talent like Kalil should not be passed on by a team with such a desperate need at that position.

Your example where the Vikings end up with Blackmon is highly unlikely if they move down to the eighth spot.  And there is a significant drop-off in talent from Matt Kalil to Mike Adams. Furthermore, even if they did somehow get Blackmon/Adams I would still prefer the duo of Kalil/Jeffery. I think most Vikings fans would agree with me there.

The Vikings already own 10 picks in the 2012 NFL Draft. That is a great start to rebuilding a struggling franchise. Sure we could keep adding more picks and have 12 or 13 picks, but at a point, I think it becomes an issue of quality vs. quantity. Do we keep trading back, amassing more picks and selecting players who are less likely to succeed in the NFL? Or do we keep the good amount of picks we have now and take the best players available when we’re on the clock? I tend to align with the latter option which is why I think the Vikings should stay at #3 and select Matt Kalil.

Plus, I’ve already ordered my Kalil jersey. What am I going to do with that thing when we end up with Michael Brockers as a result of trading down?

Adam Says: And you have hit the nail right on the head, in terms of our philosophical difference when it comes to the Draft.

It would be one thing if I fully trusted Rick Spielman to hit on a good number of those draft picks, but the truth is that no matter how much of an optimist I want to be, I do not fully trust Rick Spielman’s abilities as a General Manager.  Therefore, I would feel safer taking the “accuracy by volume” approach to the Draft rather than have Spielman target specific players and trade up to get them, which he has been known to do.

The Vikings need to ensure they have some insurance policies in place for missed draft picks, otherwise the rebuild will be greatly delayed.  The quickest and best shot they have at securing more young, talented players is to move backwards a few spots and gain more 2012 and 2013 picks.

Of course, if you have full trust in Spielman’s ability to select talent, then limiting the Vikings to the picks they currently own could indeed work out just fine.  Like I said, I don’t think Kalil would be a bad start.

Brett says: I don’t have a lot of faith in Spielman, either. I’m hoping he proves that he is more than capable but only time will tell. I do not, at this point in time, have a lot of faith that he can find great value after the first round. There isn’t a lot of room for error in selecting Matt Kalil. There is, however, tons of potential for a screw up with Spielman orchestrating a trade and then trying to find talent in later rounds.

I’ll say it again: Drafting Matt Kalil is a sure thing. A sure thing at a position of need should not be passed up. If you’d rather put your faith in our unproven GM and trust that he can pull off a trade as well as use the accumulated picks to find talent deeper in the draft, that’s your choice. I’ll take the sure thing every time.