Has Cap Space Allowed for Vikings to Sit Out in Draft?

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.

The Minnesota Vikings currently have a significant need at the quarterback position, and while Sam Darnold has been signed to take over for Kirk Cousins, he’s not believed to be the long-term answer. If they grab a franchise-type cornerstone, it will require a move up the draft board. That will leave them without additional picks, but does it matter?

Has Cap Space Allowed for Vikings to Sit Out in Draft?

As things stand, Minnesota has the 11th and 23rd overall picks but then nothing again until the fourth round. Moving up into the top three or four picks will require the Vikings to part with both of their current first-round selections, and they’ll probably lose their first-rounder next year as well. They could acquire a second or third-round pick in that exchange, but it’s not a guarantee.

cap space
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Minnesota may need to nail the quality-over-quantity approach when calling names in April. Right now, the team has nine total picks, but that number would drop by at least one while attempting to move up. Of the eight selections in that scenario, all but one would come in the fourth round or later, and three of them would come in the sixth round or later.

There are certainly draft gems to be had late in the process, but uncovering them is often a perfect culmination of homework being done and development being executed. For Kevin O’Connell to be handed an immediate starter as a fourth-round pick, much less a 6th or 7th round pick, would seem to be a lofty expectation.

How Crazy Was
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Of course, finding players like Ivan Pace Jr. happens every year, but it isn’t a league-wide come-up, and expecting that to play out isn’t exactly a viable strategy. It’s because of the cap space that the Vikings cleared this offseason that they were able to be such significant players in free agency.

Bringing in a group chock full of names, many of which will be expected to start immediately, is something we haven’t seen in recent seasons.

The Biggest Mistakes
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With less cap space, the Vikings were forced to build through the draft and hopefully see that talent turn into impact players. By having the ability to work a two-pronged approach this time, it doesn’t hurt them nearly as much that many of their potential selections could be fliers at best. If there is a time when the 1st round pick has to be executed, it’s now, but the rest winds up being little more than gravy.

Ted Schwerzler is a blogger from the Twin Cities that is focused on all things Minnesota Twins and Minnesota Vikings. He’s active on Twitter and writes weekly for Twins Daily. As a former college athlete and avid sports fan, covering our pro teams with a passion has always seemed like such a natural outlet.