A 2022 Draft Theory: Vikings Trading for the Heck of It

A 2022 Draft Theory: Trading for the Heck of It
Kwesi Adofo-Mensah

Trading just because.

That’s one theory to explain new Minnesota Vikings general manager Kwesi Adofo-Mensah’s moving and shaking during the 2022 NFL Draft. Before the event was over, Adofo-Mensah traded up and down six times, the most of any general manager in the NFL.

Adofo-Mensah was hired by the Vikings in January as a replacement for Rick Spielman, who was terminated after the 2021 regular season. Head coach Mike Zimmer was also canned, and a new era of Vikings football was underway after a disappointing 8-9 season.

A “Wall Street guy” with an economist background, Adofo-Mensah was onboarded in Minnesota to effectuate youth, collaboration, and value-based thinking. Onlookers call the value-based strategy analytics, whereas Adofo-Mensah calls it, well, value.

It's Monday, and the NFL Draft Is Already Getting Funky.
Kwesi Adofo-Mensah

With his Wall Street background, it’s no wonder Adofo-Mensah traded so frequently during the NFL draft, right? His background seems to merge with his activity on that front.

But according to The Athletic, one anonymous executive believes the Vikings were trading for the heck of it — for thrills, essentially. Mike Sando from The Athletic spoke to a league exec who said this about Minnesota’s trades:

“It looked like they were just trading to trade. They got some picks. Maybe it worked out. I don’t know. Interesting situation.”

– Anonyous Executive via The Athletic

Minnesota infamously slid back 20 spots in Round 1 from its organic 12th spot. Through direct compensation with the Lions, via trade of the 12th overall pick, the Vikings added Lewis Cine (S), Andrew Booth (CB), Ed Ingram (OL), and Brian Asamoah (LB). The Lions landed Jameson Williams (WR) and Josh Paschal (EDGE).

And folks have argued about it ever since.

Jan 11, 2022; Indianapolis, Indiana, USA; Georgia Bulldogs safety Lewis Cine. Mandatory Credit: Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports.

Indeed, Adofo-Mensah was a first-time general manager in the saddle a couple of weeks ago during the draft. An element of newness could’ve been present for the new Vikings bossman, causing him to trade more than most.

Or maybe — this is just what a Wall Streety guy does, adding value on top of value no matter the trade partner.

Like all trades, proper judgment cannot be rendered until 2025 or so. For now, it’s just league execs slinging theories and fans deciding “who won” based on their hopes.

Trades need time to materialize, Adofo-Mensah made a lot of them, and folks’ patience in evaluating trades in The Digital Age is short.

Dustin Baker is a political scientist who graduated from the University of Minnesota in 2007. Subscribe to his daily YouTube Channel, VikesNow. He hosts a podcast with Bryant McKinnie, which airs every Wednesday with Raun Sawh and Sally from Minneapolis. His Viking fandom dates back to 1996. Listed guilty pleasures: Peanut Butter Ice Cream, ‘The Sopranos,’ and The Doors (the band).

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