Minnesota Vikings should stay put at #8 on draft day

Trade up or stay put?

The Minnesota Vikings may be feasting their eyes on a draft day trade with either the St. Louis Rams or Houston Texans, which would potentially give them either the first or second draft choice.

This would be one of the gutsiest calls ever made by Rick Spielman as general manager, and it could easily end up being his last draft day with the Vikings if it ends up backfiring on him.

I hate to be so critical, but the Vikings are a rebuilding team and likely won’t be very good next season even if they were to acquire Johnny Manziel, Teddy Bridgewater, or Blake Bortles.

The best move for the Vikings would be to stay put with the 8th pick and draft the best available player.

The NFL draft is special because it gives every team an opportunity to build on its needs. For Minnesota, the needs are all over the place and it starts on the defensive side of the ball. The Vikings had the worst passing defense in the NFL last season and there are currently a few cornerbacks in this year’s draft that could really help bolster that awful secondary.

Justin Gilbert and Darqueze Dennard are two guys that should be on the Vikings’ radar with their first pick. Each of these guys has speed, size, and great covering ability down field. Drafting either of these guys would be a win-win for the Vikings because of Zimmer and his defensive-minded approach to the game.

Minnesota Vikings

Matt Birk was a 6th round pick by the Vikings in 1998.
(Photo Credit: Icon Sports Media, Inc.)

The Vikings’ personnel in the secondary at the moment is not playoff material, but with Dennard or Gilbert added to the mix, a huge improvement would be made.

The NFL draft is also the deepest draft in all of sports. If the Vikings traded up in the draft they’d likely give away their second and third round picks. Second and third round picks are crucial, especially to  a team that is rebuilding. The Vikings could get some solid offensive line help in either round to fix another area they struggled in all season, protecting the quarterback.

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Remember Matt Birk? He was arguably the Vikings best center in the last decade. Birk was a 6th round pick in 1998 and was an annual Pro Bowler for many years.

Guys like Tom Brady, Russell Wilson, and Marques Colston were all selected in the later rounds of the NFL draft and are all superstars today.

The point is that Minnesota would miss out on too many reinforcements  if they traded up in the draft this offseason. The best thing for Spielman and his staff to do is to analyze and scout players long and hard to make the best available draft choices in each round.

A good quarterback is important to have on any team, but a team that’s well rounded is better. If Matt Cassel can get some protection and the Vikings can add key pieces to their team in this year’s draft, they’ll be alright.

Plus, the 2015 quarterback draft class is looking pretty good as well.

  • jamed

    I think Spielman will move up if he feels that our QB is either Bridgewater or Manziel reference last year he moved up to get CP and we missed out on some good picks like Keenan Allen,Kwann Short and Kiko Alonzo and there is a few more like the hunny badger. Everyone seems to think that CP was worth the trade. So I think this offseason that if Speilman pick up defense in FA this year like L.Joesph from Giants and A. Verner from the Titan and B. Orakopo from Redskins or Darl Smith from the Ravens one of them two to play linebacker and a saftey like J Byrd from the Bills you can almost be certain the he plans to move up in the draft to get Bridgewater or Manziel and I say if they can do it cause Bridgewater and Manziel are worth the risk. Skol Viks

  • EliteScout

    I agree that the defense needs to be addressed very aggressively. On the other hand, we need to draft and develop a QB. Look at every successful team and other than the Broncos, they all have a QB they drafted, not a free agent cast off. Personally, I would like to see the Viking draft either Manziel or Fales (2 best in this draft) and move up to get Hageman. I am sure we will grab a couple defensive free agents and should use at least 6 of our 9 picks (2 in the 3rd round) on the defensive side of the ball. It is obvious that our LB’s are the weakest link on the team, so getting a free agent and drafting a couple, along with a couple of DB’s would be a great choice.
    For those that want to rip on Manziel, say what you will, but he is by far the best QB in this draft. He faced more ranked teams than any NCAA QB and ended the season ranked 8th in the country. Go tell Russell Wilson and Drew Brees they are too small for the NFL and they will both gladly show you their Superbowl rings (Manziel is bigger than both). Oh, and don’t try to tell me he is a running QB either, he ran for 600 yards in 13 games, but does a great job of scrambling out of the pocket to extend the play (like Wilson did vs the Broncos).
    David Fales is very underrated at this point, but trust me, I have watched him multiple times and he is the real deal and in my opinion better than Bortles, Bridgewater and Carr.

    • crwalsh11

      Right on. Good analysis. Manziel will be a star in the NFL. His Wunderlich test will be off the charts. But can’t get him at #8. So trade lower picks, and get him.

      • EliteScout

        The Vikings may not be able to get him at #2 either, since the Texans seem to be interested. If we can’t get him, I would be fine with drafting Raasheed Hageman #8 then drafting David Fales in the 2nd round. If you go watch Fales vs the rest of the QB’s in this class, you will soon realize he has the best tools and decision making skills besides Manziel.

        • Mnstorm99

          Hageman might be available in the second round. He is good, but that would be a huge reach at #8.

          • EliteScout

            We seriously NEED help on the DL and he would help Floyd do just that. With zero pressure provided last year, Robison, Hageman and Floyd would be a great group to provide that pressure. By doing that you take pressure off your secondary. If we can add a decent LB and CB to go with those 3, our defense would be much improved. If we can trade down to get Manziel, we should then trade down again to get Hageman too.

          • Mnstorm99

            Trade down? Or, trade up?

            They would need to trade up for Manziel. And would trade away the Hageman picks to do so.
            Or, trade down for more picks…which I wouldn’t disagree with. And, Hageman is certainly in play here.
            I think a big X factor here is what type of defense Zimmer wants to bring in. If he wants to run a 3-4 hybrid, the DL is probably set with Robison, Floyd (undersized for the 3-4) and they should re-sign Griffen. The LB position becomes even more glaring in this scenario. I assume Zimmer will build the D based on what he has at the beginning of the season, but LB would be a bigger hole in his past defensive system.

  • 3kolu

    Hey Andrew, your pessimism has completely shun your objectivism. With all the talent in FA and the draft, the Vikings will address all of their positions of need. Should the Vikings be able to keep their own key FA’s Matt Cassel, Everson Griffen, and possibly Kevin Williams we would then need to acquire a talented CB, a safety and an OG. There are an abundance of CB’s in FA and in the draft. This team is just a 4 or 5 players away from taking the division especially if they can get one those young elite CB’s in FA. This team is poised to turn it around in 1 season, more than most of the bottom 10 teams.

    • jamed

      Yea I say grab Verner from the Titan grab Byrd from the Bills our secondary definitely would be better if there’s enough cap room grab L.Joesph from the Giants and in the first round just take Carr with the 8th pick and Ryan Shazier with our 2nd pick cause he is relentless when it comes to football defensive rookie of the year nominee for sure. But if we see a big splash in the FA for our needs on defense you can bet were gunna move up for Manziel or Bridgewater and I’m all for it cause I’m tired of below average QBs trying to get it done in Minnesota and I feel Bridgewater and Manziel are gunna be top 5 QBs in the NFL for many years.

      • 3kolu

        Any combination of Byrd and either Verner, Shields, Davis or Munnerlyn would make our secondary elite. I’d love to grab Joseph or even BJ Raji(depending if the Vikings staff think he can regain form from a couple years ago). Also, if Turner likes Carr, I’m all in. He’s NFL ready and could be a nice fit, needs to improve his footwork among other things, most of them fixable. Ryan Shazier seems to be a popular 2nd round pick, the Vikings are lacking speed at LB. I’d like to land one of those big corners Jean-Baptiste, McGill or Desir in the 3rd round as well.

  • TheDoctor67

    #1 priority is a Monster DT, and then 2 stud OG’s. Build the line first before you draft a QB.

  • Andrew Koch

    I was inspired to write this article on behalf of the Seahawks stellar defense. Malcolm Smith was a 7th round draft choice and was the Superbowl MVP as you all know last night. I think that Pete Carrol and Mike Zimmer are similar coaches in that they believe that a great defense can win you a championship. Seattle’s is historically great, but Minnesota has a lot of building blocks and could get there in the next few years. This year’s draft is loaded with talent. There are plenty of guys that will be picked in the late rounds that will make an impact on this Vikings’ team next year.

  • Brandy Mitchell

    i have been saying that all alone dont rush and draft a qb in the first two rd we need way more than just a qb. you can go and trde for kirk counsin for a 3rd & 5th rds but dont get in a hurry for a quick fix type decision only going to keep setting you back kepping it 100 we might as wait until the storm blow over because seattle goin be winning it all for the next two to three yr just keeping it 100%

  • Decease

    I couldn’t agree more. How could you watch what was going on with the Seattle defense yesterday and not understand who controlled the game?! I would bet you could put Matt Cassel on that team and it would function very well. The same holds true if you were to put several of those linebackers and secondary of Seattle’s on the Vikings defense. DO NOT TRADE AWAY THE FUTURE FOR A QB. There is simply nothing that special about this years cast of characters. But there ARE a number of defensive players that can and would make an appreciable difference for next year’s team.

  • jim

    Yes, I also agree with the article.and in my personal opinion I think that is what they also should do!!!


    Well put. And I agree. Just happy to finally have a defensive mind In Viking land! Getting close to 20 years with sucka** defense and I’m tired of it. Happy to see the HHH Dome gone, it never did us any good. Things are looking up! Bring on the New PURPLE PEOPLE EATERS!