Should the Vikings Trade out of the 1st Round?

Draft Plan Just Got
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Everyone is powering up the mock drafts and predicting who the Minnesota Vikings will draft at number 23. So, should the Vikings trade out of the first round? With minimal draft capital and many holes on the roster, trading back could be on the agenda.

Before the first wave of moves in free agency has run its course, it always seems foolhardy to predict the draft. The Vikings roster could look wildly different in a month. This week has already seen the departure of long-time Vikings Adam Thielen and Eric Kendricks, as well as Cameron Dantzler. More names are likely to follow, with the futures of Dalvin Cook, Harrison Smith, Za’Darius Smith, and Jordan Hicks all up in the air. Decisions must also be made on a string of 2022 Vikings who are out of contract.

Vikings Trade out
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Then, there’s pick 23. Will the Vikings draft there? Kwesi Adofo-Mensah traded back in his first draft. Will he do it again? How far will they trade back? Should the Vikings trade out of the first round? These are questions to answer.

Will the Vikings Trade Back Again? 

Adofo-Mensah proved himself to be a wheeler-dealer GM in his first draft. Trading back in the first round was the first of six draft-day trades.

Expect the Vikings to be busy again. As it stands, Minnesota only has five draft picks this year, selecting in the first, third, fourth, and fifth rounds, as well as a compensatory sixth-rounder that was awarded on Thursday. That’s not a lot of draft capital, especially for a team with many holes on the roster and still in the red for cap space. 

So, it makes sense the Vikings will want to add more. They could look to trade players like Dalvin Cook, Za’Darius Smith, or even someone like Ezra Cleveland, but the question is, what returns can they get? If no deals are done on players, deals during the draft will be how Minnesota can acquire more draft picks, starting with the 23rd overall selection.

Last year, the Vikings had the 12th overall pick and decided to trade back. Very highly rated wide receiver Jameson Williams — who Detroit selected after trading with Minnesota — and safety Kyle Hamilton were on the board. There was some disappointment the Vikings passed on these two.

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Drafting later in the first round, there is unlikely to be such a highly-rated player on the board. Unless a player surprisingly falls, the Vikings won’t be in line for one of this year’s top talents. I favor drafting a wide receiver, as it makes sense as a need and position of high value. If Jaxson Smith-Njigba or Jordan Addison slide to 23, then the Vikings should sprint to the podium to select one.

In the more likely event that both are already off the board, trading back makes sense, especially as the view of many is that the talent in the late first and early second rounds are similar. The question is, how far back should they go?

Should the Vikings Trade out of the 1st Round?

Do the Vikings trade back to later in the first round, and see what they can get in return? Or should the Vikings draft out of the first round and into the early second round for a bigger overall haul? That’s the question facing Adofo-Mensah and O’Connell if the plan is to gain more draft picks. A perfect scenario could be trading back to the late first and then again to the early second round. That should bolster the Day 2 draft picks significantly.

The appetite for such a trade-back appears to have more support than expected. Of course, everything depends on how the board lands on the day, but there is a lot of merit to trading back. It’s an idea that has some support and one I think could be the way to go — assuming there is no one there at 23 who is too good to pass on. 

Minnesota Vikings general manager Kwesi Adofo-Mensah who was hired in January 2022 after the club parted ways with Rick Spielman. The Vikings finished 13-4 in Adofo-Mensah’s first season as general manager.

Another idea people always like is trading up for the quarterback of the future. A route I’m not averse to. However, I struggle to find a path for the Vikings to do that. After Carolina traded up for the number one pick, three of the four selections look certain to be quarterback. I don’t see how the Vikings can move up with other QB-needy teams better placed.

Adofo-Mensah will formulate a plan alongside Kevin O’Connell, Brian Flores, and the remaining Vikings staff. We await its unfolding, and the next week will be huge as free agency officially opens.