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.
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.
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.