Is There A Potential Trade Down Brewing for the Vikings?

The Vikings Rumor That Will Not Die
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It’s NFL Draft month, and trade rumors are swirling. One of those rumors is a potential trade down for the Vikings in the draft.

There is a potential conversation happening that the Los Angeles Chargers are looking to trade up for an offensive tackle. Their trade partner could certainly be the Vikings.

Before you get upset that Kwesi Adofo-Mensah is pulling a Rick Spielman, we should discuss why trading back is suitable. Rick Spielman had a habit of trading back in the draft. He seemed to accumulate three or four 7th-round draft picks every single year.

A lot of people were upset about this approach because Rick missed out on specific guys. However, draft picks, like all things, have a specific value on them, and trading back creates more value. Take a look at the most recent draft pick trade between the Eagles and Saints.

At first glance, you might think, well, the Saints received two picks this year and only gave one this year back to the Eagles. However, once you do the math, the Eagles won this trade.

Once you look at draft picks like resources, it becomes evident that trading back is better. Typically, a team will need to pay a premium to move up. Therefore, the trading back team gets a little something extra in return.

That said, you don’t always want to trade back. There will be times when trading up is the right decision, like when trying to get a quarterback. So, when do you want to trade down?

When Trading Down Is the Right Move

There are specific times when trading down is the right move. How do you know when? It’s pretty simple for the team. Is the guy you want available at your pick, and will they still be available if you trade down a few spots?

If you believe that your draft target or an equivalent talent is going to still be on the board in 5 or 6 picks, then you should absolutely trade back. The 2021 Vikings draft is a perfect example of this. The Vikings likely wanted to draft Rashawn Slater or Christian Darrisaw, but Slater was taken one pick before the Vikings had the chance.

Encouraging News for Vikings Rookie LT and MNF
Christian Darrisaw

So, Spielman analyzed the team’s needs behind him and concluded they were not likely to take Darrisaw. Therefore, trading back would give the Vikings additional picks and the player they wanted. That is a win.

A trade back with the Chargers would depend heavily on who is available when the Vikings are on the clock. Do they believe they can get that guy later in the draft, or do they need to pull the trigger now? Who would need to be on the board for the Vikings not to trade back?

If These Guys Are on the Board, Take Them

Having the 12th overall pick is a tricky position for the Vikings. They are just outside the top-10, where the best players will be taken. After that, there is a little bit of a talent cliff.

There are a lot of quality players in the middle of the first round that could be of use to the Vikings, so a trade down with the Chargers would be beneficial. However, there are a few guys who would be must takes if they fall to the 12th overall. In my opinion, here are the must takes:

  • Ahmad Gardner
  • Derek Stingley Jr.
  • Kyle Hamilton
  • Kayvon Thibodeaux

As of right now, the only one of these guys that will likely be there at 12 is Derek Stingley Jr. However, depending on his performance at his upcoming Pro Day, he might jump into the top-10. There are rumors that Hamilton and Thibodeaux will fall, but it is unlikely.

If none of these guys are available, trading down might be the best option.