The Vikings Trade Targets with the Preseason Right Around the Corner

NFL: Seattle Seahawks at Los Angeles Rams
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Earlier in the week, PurplePTSD put together a list of names to consider as potential Vikings trade targets. In “The Vikings’ Trade Orbit: 10 Names to Remember as September 10th Inches Closer,” I lean on past precedent — Kwesi Adofo-Mensah’s 15 trades — to help assemble a list of contenders.

Some of the names (Isaiah Simmons, Chase Young) have previously been considered on Vikings Territory. Others, though, will likely be new to VT’s readers.

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With his competitive rebuild philosophy guiding his thinking, Adofo-Mensah displays certain patterns in his trade targets. All of Jalen Reagor, Ross Blacklock, and T.J. Hockenson fill a position of need, are young, were highly-picked in the draft, and had several years of cost-controlled contracts when coming to Minnesota.

In fact, the GM has spoken about how the tight end embodies his team-building approach insofar as Hockenson is someone who can help now and in the future: “But if you think of a move like T.J. Hockenson, for example. I think that was a ‘today’ move but it’s also a really great ascending young player who played well for us this year, we have under contract next year, and with the ability to keep around for a long time […] So I would say that move, would say that it was both a competitive and a rebuild at the same time.”

Hockenson Chatter
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Moving forward, the Vikings will continue evaluating their roster. As O’Connell recently noted in his press conference, the joint practices and preseason games will be crucial. One wonders if those events will prompt the GM and HC to explore the trade market; the team’s most important decision makers could determine that certain key spots are in need of reinforcements.

If that occurs, keep these players in the back of your mind (as well as the seven others included in the PurplePTSD piece). Each option pulled from that piece have a connection to either Brian Flores or Kevin O’Connell.

PurplePTSD: 3 Vikings Trade Targets

1) Raekwon Davis, DT, Miami Dolphins

NFL: Carolina Panthers at Miami Dolphins
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A Flores connection.

Davis, 26, put forth a strong 71.1 grade on PFF as a rookie. During his sophomore season, that grade sunk down to 36.5. Both seasons occured while under the tutelage of Mr. Flores. The Vikings don’t have the most inspiring group of defensive tackles, and we’ve already seen Kwesi Adofo-Mensah seek to make it more fearsome when he traded for DT Ross Blacklock last year (who, like Davis, is a 2nd-round selection from the 2020 NFL Draft). The recent ACL tear for James Lynch makes the position even more thin.

Davis is 6’7″, 330 (one thinks of the 6’8″ Calais Campbell but with more weight). Not too many players are as large as him, so perhaps that’ll be appealing enough to pick up the phone to see about bringing him to Minnesota.

2) Noah Igbinoghene, CB, Miami Dolphins

NFL: Miami Dolphins at Chicago Bears
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A buy-low candidate with a Flores connection.

The smaller corner — 5’11”, 197 pounds — hasn’t been the best corner in the NFL since being taken 30th overall in 2020. Miami has a crowded corner competition and one wonders if there will still be a spot for him. Presumably, Flores was high on him coming out of college, so perhaps there’s still a belief that the defensive mastermind can unlock the corner’s potential. He’s still only 23.

3) Van Jefferson, WR, Los Angeles Rams

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How many offensive weapons are too many?

Kevin O’Connell worked directly with Van Jefferson since he was formerly the offensive coordinator in Los Angeles. The Rams don’t appear to be going anywhere fast. Recouping some value for the 4th-year wideout (who was a 2nd-round pick) may help Los Angeles keep progressing in their rebuild.

With O’Connell as the OC in 2021, Jefferson put forth 50 catches, 802 yards (16.0 YPC average), and 6 TDs. Those numbers dropped to 24 catches, 369 yards (15.4 YPC average), and 3 TDs in 2022.

Might an OC/WR reunion be in the works? The Vikings continue to tinker with the WR position, as evidenced by their recent signing of N’Keal Harry.

Editor’s Note: To keep reading about some potential trade targets, be sure to swing by PurplePTSD to see the full list. That piece relied on information from Pro Football Reference, PFF, and Over the Cap.