NFL Draft 2017

The Path to Purple and Gold: 2017 Vikings Rookies

Three days and seven trades later, Minnesota Vikings general manager Rick Spielman netted his franchise 11 new players. Without a first round pick—and his preferred 10 selections—Spielman was, as expected, one of the league’s more active draft participants.

Over the course of three days, he executed trades with seven teams, swapping 20 total draft picks in a convoluted string of transactions. When he was finally happy with his draft board and the team’s position each round, Spielman settled, garnering a class you’ve come to know well thanks to the Welcome to the Big Show series.

After the jump, I’ll compile each of the breakdowns with links and helpful graphics. This landing page should become an instant bookmark for you; an easy-to-reference guide on the 2017 Vikings rookies.

The Path to Purple and Gold

In this section, I’ll list the players who landed in Minnesota via a draft-day transaction. Of the Vikings’ 11 selections, nine enjoyed a path to purple and gold by way of trade. The graphics list the picks dealt, the player’s final draft position, and the teams involved.

Dalvin Cook, RB — Florida State

2017 Vikings Rookies

Pat Elflein, C — Ohio State

Vikings 2017 Rookies

Jaleel Johnson, DT — Iowa

Vikings 2017 Rookies

Rodney Adams, WR — USF

Vikings 2017 Rookies

Danny Isidora, G — Miami

Vikings 2017 Rookies

Bucky Hodges, TE — Virginia Tech

Stacy Coley, WR — Miami

Ifeadi Odenigbo, DE — Northwestern

Jack Tocho, CB — N.C. State

Rounding up the rest

Ben Gedeon, LB — Michigan

Elijah Lee, LB — Kansas State


The Vikings actually gained value with their first two trades, which is surprising given Spielman moved up the board in both instances. According to Calculator Soup, which features a handy NFL Draft Pick Value Calculator, Spielman’s aggressive move to pursue Cook netted the Vikings 5.6% in value. Their trade partners, the Cincinnati Bengals, actually lost 5.31% in value (464 vs. 490).

The move for Elflein also proved bountiful for Spielman. Although he sent the 79th and 160th picks to the New York Jets—a 223.4-point value—Spielman landed Elflein with the 70th-overall pick, which is worth 240 points on the table’s scale. The net total? A 7.43% increase in value for the Vikings in the third round.

His biggest gamble could be with that with Jack Tocho, a player selected in the seventh round by way of an earlier trade with the Kansas Chiefs. Minnesota lost major value initially with the trade, sending the No. 86 selection to Kansas City for the No. 104, No. 132, and No. 245 picks.

Spielman’s second “loss” came in a two-for-one trade with the San Francisco 49ers, as he gave up the No. 104 pick (86-point value) for San Francisco’s No. 109 and No. 219 selections (an 80.8-point value). That’s only the number, though; both Johnson and Coley could prove more valuable than their initial spots on Minnesota’s draft board.

As for the other picks, they’re players who may or may not contribute right away. Taking gambles and risks late is much easier than throwing capital at “reaches” on the first or second day. With his first two selections, Spielman found players who will slot in immediately and likely outperform where they were drafted.

Follow Austin Belisle on Twitter at @austincbelisle and check @VikingTerritory for all the latest Minnesota Vikings coverage.

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Austin Belisle

Austin Belisle is the West Coast's biggest Vikings fan, a football diehard cheering on the purple and yellow from sunny California. After graduating from San Jose State University in 2014, he began working full-time in corporate marketing and blogging on various sports websites. Austin's passion for the Vikings led him to Vikings Territory, where he hopes to share his lifelong enthusiasm for the team with readers on a daily basis. You can follow him on Twitter @austincbelisle

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