Vikings Territory Breakdown: Trader Kwesi Makes a Big Splash in his First NFL Draft

Kwesi Adolfo-Mensah conducted his first draft as general manager of the Minnesota Vikings. That’s about the most neutral and non-inflammatory thing you can say about it. For just when Vikings fans thought it was safe to get back into the draft waters, Kwesi and Company threw several trade bombs into the tide and blew up any notion that this initial foray was going to be safe, by the book and boring.

Over the three days of drafting, the Vikings, under the guidance of their analytical GM, made six different trades with five different teams (including two in their own division) and moved from seven picks at the start of the draft to 10 total—only two of which were among the original seven. “Boom goes the dynamite!”

Kwesi’s grades, if you were only to consider assessments from Vikings fans who were still shell-shocked from years of Trader Rick Spielman amassing numerous picks (particularly in the seventh round), would likely have held him in detention after the draft for some remedial studies. (Although national media grades were much kinder.) And when it came to speaking about the first two trades that allowed the Detroit Lions and the Green Bay Packers (yes, those Green Bay Packers) to jump up and select a coveted wide receiver (one of them supposedly coveted by the Vikings), the angst throughout Purple Nation was palpable.

But Kwesi was unmoved. He admittedly recognized the dangers of trading within his own division, yet felt that he ultimately made moves that helped his team more. It was wild. It was wacky. And it is going to be talked about for some time to come. So, we will start by talking about it this week on the Vikings Territory Breakdown Podcast with the Star Tribune’s Mark Craig and Joe Oberle from VT and There will be plenty of discussion on this one.

The Vikings did fortify their secondary early and then make some offensive selections late. They did get some decent players despite arguably trading away from better ones. And they did stick to their plan, even though the way they went about it roused memories of draft angst from the past and concerns about having to defend nightmare opponents at wideout in the future.

There is so much to talk about—from each new pick, national grades and where this leaves the Vikings as they head into offseason workouts. So, tune in to the VT Breakdown podcast and check it out.

The first round moves:

Offseason schedule a big challenge for O’Connell and Adofo-Mensah to manage

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