If Slater falls to 9, the Vikings NEED to Trade Up

Image via Perry Knotts of the Associated Press.

Here we are! After weeks of mocks, frustration, consternation, and … Hope? I guess? The NFL Draft is only mere hours away! That having been said, the Draft list that exists as I’m writing this article at nearly 3 a.m. may not be the same as you’re reading this in the morning/afternoon. There’s been a lot of shenanigans, trading up, down, etc. The most recent being a trade that may change the order of the top 10, but isn’t directly a Draft trade. That trade being the trade of former Vikings quarterback and emotional support pillow Teddy Bridgewater to the Denver Broncos.

The Broncos have the 9th pick in the Draft, a spot that has been linked to the Vikings in a Mock or two these past few mock-filled weeks. Mel Kiper Jr. recently stated that the Vikings could trade up to 9 if Oregon OT Penei Sewell were to fall that far. I’ve been pretty open that I’d prefer Northwestern tackle Rashawn Slater as I am a Big Ten bobo (ESPECIALLY for offensive linemen) and because I just don’t think that Sewell will fall anywhere near the ninth pick and thus would require far too much for a Vikings team that historically believes in hoarding, not shedding, picks.

Turns out that NFL.com’s own Daniel Jeremiah agrees with me in his most recent (and presumably last) Mock. Sort of.

In that Mock he shakes the Top 10 up a bit by having the Broncos, who as you know just traded for Teddy Bridgewater, trading out of the ninth spot… Just not in the way that you’d think. Instead, NFL.com has the Broncos trading UP to the 7th-spot into the Lions’ spot to land Ohio State quarterback Justin Fields. Fields would presumably sit behind Bridgewater for a season, and then be the quarterback of the future (with Bridgewater either becoming a back-up or if he has a strong enough season, another patchwork QB for some lowly franchise). Seems like a head-scratcher of a move though, considering. This is the 2021 NFL, no longer is the old school adage of making a rookie QB sit as to not “ruin them” by making them gun shy even remotely close to being a thing. Sure, this puts a veteran in the locker room in Denver and it only cost the Broncos a sixth-rounder. But, I’m not entirely sure that Teddy has much value as a veteran in the NFL as he has spent more time rehabbing than playing. I’m being a bit hyperbolic, but you get what I mean. This may mean that Teddy is a contingency plan if one of the quarterbacks Denver wants doesn’t fall to the ninth spot or if they’re unable to trade up with a team like the Lions. Contingencies, contigencies. ‘Tis the name of the game!

The interesting thing here, at least in the context of the above, is that Jeremiah then has the Lions taking none other than Rashawn Slater at the ninth spot. It’d be great if the Vikings were able to work out a trade for the ninth pick to nab Slater instead letting him go to a division… Not rival. How about.. Instead of letting him go to a team that also is in the NFC North *cough noise*. The only way that might happen (again in this instance) would be if Justin Fields is taken before the Broncos could trade up and nab him. We’d have to hope that’ll happen.

It very well may be the biggest single moment of the off-season.

Jeremiah has the Vikings staying pat at 14 and drafting hyper-talented Miami Edge Jaelan Phillips. Now, if Danielle Hunter is healthy and also, you know, playing the idea of a Hunter/Phillips pass-rushing duo next to the monsters that are Michael Pierce and Dalvin Tomlinson clogging up the middle/their arteries is intriguing AF. I can’t deny that.

However, when it comes to this or any draft I always look at the best potential positive impact from selecting a player at each potential position (assuming that player pans out). For example, would the Vikings be in a better spot if Phillips starts and is a stud? Or if Slater did and was? I think that anyone that has watched these Vikings since 2018 knows the answer to that question. a

That’s especially true considering that as of the writing of this piece the Vikings have yet to trade back into the second round of the Draft. That’d mean that they could end up going Edge at 14 and then waiting an eternity to find help for the offensive line. Considering their hit rate (or lack thereof) on the line in the Draft? They’d be better off going for the “sure thing” that could/should be Slater then waiting for that edge since they already have a Danielle Hunter, where as the offensive line has regressed each year since Cousins put pen to paper and is in a worst spot now than it was at the end of the worst season in recent memory (from a pass protecting perspective).

But that’s just me, probably because I just discovered and really like this new theory that has come out of the analytics forums you’ll find if you can pass three quizzes (all of which basically want to ensure that you’re going to die alone). That new theory is that apparently, NFL quarterbacks need what is called a “pocket” to pass from if you want any sort of success in the passing game. We’ll see if the idea of this “pocket” is another Wild Cat flash in the pan, or if it sticks around. I mean, the name alone? A POCKET? What is Cousins, a Polly Pocket? RIGHT?

I’m obviously being facetious because I use humor as a defense mechanism as I am VERY worried about tonight’s action and outcome.

At least you’ll be able to watch the VikingsTerritory.com/purplePTSD.com/TheDraftTeam.com/FranchiseTagged.com team LIVE fall Day both FROM the Draft in Cleveland and doing a live stream from our home base(s). So stay tuned to all of our sites and social media accounts as we break down the action and I probably die of natural causes.