Here’s How the Vikings Can Trade into Round 2
The Minnesota Vikings used their 2nd-Round pick from this year’s draft last November to acquire T.J. Hockenson, who netted instant dividends. General manager Kwesi Adofo-Mensah also shipped a 2024 3rd-Rounder to Detroit for Hockenson while gaining a 4th-Round pick in return, plus a conditional 4th-Rounder next year. The team essentially traded down three draft rounds for Hockenson. Most don’t regret it.
Moreover, on Thursday night, the Vikings began the 2023 NFL Draft with a splash, selecting USC wide receiver Jordan Addison with the 23rd pick. It will be offense galore in Minnesota for the foreseeable future.
How the Vikings Can Trade into Round 2
But what if the Vikings are salivating over a would-be 2nd-Round prospect right now — like Joey Porter Jr. (CB), Brian Branch (S), or WIll Levis (QB)? That pick is gone via the Hockenson trade.
Here’s how Adofo-Mensah can reasonably hop back into Round 2.
3rd-Rounder + 4th Rounder
Before you get too excited, this would likely fetch the Vikings a low spot in Round 2 — not the 32nd pick held by the Pittsburgh Steelers as of 1:00 pm CST Friday.
And this package might also have to include a 5th- or 6th-Rounder to edge other possible suitors. Another alternative is sending next year’s 2nd-Rounder, plus this year’s 4th-Rounder, to the trade partner.
With a willing team, the Vikings can package their existing four picks — in some combination — to travel up the draftboard back into Round 2. It just won’t be a 3rd- and 4th-Rounder for the top part of Round 2.
The 2024 Draft Basket
Perhaps the most sensible strategy if Adofo-Mensah is enamored with, for instance, Joey Porter Jr., the Vikings could send picks from next year to a team today or tonight. This would be next year’s 1st-Rounder to the Steelers for the 32nd pick.
Otherwise, Adofo-Mensah could send next year’s 2nd-Round pick and this year’s 4th-Rounder to a team around Pick No. 50. It can be done.
Of course, many fans would be skittish — rightfully so — about leveraging future capital on this year’s draft class, mainly because Minnesota could be rookie-QB shopping in one year.
A Player + a Pick
This idea would snatch the most headlines and would be akin to this:
- a 2024 2nd-Rounder + Dalvin Cook
- a 2024 2nd-Rounder + Za’Darius Smith
- a 2023 3rd-Rounder + Ezra Cleveland
Regrettably for the Vikings trade purposes, the draft is stuffed to the gills from here on out with promising EDGE rushers and running backs. Cook and Smith won’t be in ultra-high demand.
Still, packaging Cook, Smith, or Cleveland with an additional pick or two might do the trick to whisk the Vikings somewhere into Round 2.
The Vikings Dodged a Bullet on Draft Night
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 Sal Spice. His Vikings obsession dates back to 1996. Listed guilty pleasures: Peanut Butter Ice Cream, ‘The Sopranos,’ and The Doors (the band).
All statistics provided by Pro Football Reference / Stathead; all contractual information provided by OverTheCap.com.
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