A Look At 3 Potential Trade Possibilities In The Draft

Posted by Mike Wobschall on April 4, 2011 – 2:07 pm

In the madness that is trying to predict how teams will behave during the draft and which players will be selected with which picks, it’s easy to forget a possibility that exists with each and every selection in the entire event – a trade.

Some Vikings fans want the team to use the #12 pick on a QB. Others want to see a pass-rushing stud at DE. And others prefer the team addresses the secondary or even the offensive line. Ultimately, the Vikings may decide to address none of them with the #12 and instead use the selection to trade back and acquire more picks. Or the Vikings could develop a strong enough interest in a player that they decide to move ahead in the 1st round to nab him before another team.

Until the pick is actually used, you can’t rule anything out.

So while we’ve utilized Mock Madness to track who different NFL observers are projecting the Vikings to select, let’s use this blog entry to speculate on a pair of potential trade partners for the Vikings. Just to be clear, this is pure speculation on my part.

There are 3 scenarios I’ve drummed up as possibilities…let us know what you think by leaving your thoughts in the comments section below this entry…

Possibility #1: Vikings VP of Player Personnel Rick Spielman has a track record of making trades during the draft, both trading up and trading back. The Patriots have done their share of wheeling and dealing lately, too, but they’ve generally gone the route of trading back to acquire more picks rather than trading up to grab a player. In this scenario, though, the Patriots will reverse that trend and trade up.

Bill Belichick and Co. own 3 of the first 33 picks in the 2011 NFL Draft, giving them plenty of power to move up into the 1st round almost wherever they wish. Should a player they covet – perhaps Boston College OL Nick Castanzo – fall to the Vikings spot at #12, the Patriots could offer the #17 pick and perhaps a 3rd-rounder to move up. This would still leave them with their original 1st-round pick (#28) and it would allow them to add a potential starter to the lineup as well. In moving back to #17, the Vikings could take a look at the remaining top-level QBs or perhaps take a look at an OL such as Gabe Carimi or Nate Solder or a DL such as Adrian Clayborn, Cameron Jordan, Ryan Kerrigan, Aldon Smith or Muhammad Wilkerson.

Possibility #2: My favorite receiver in the draft this year is Julio Jones, but A.J. Green is the consensus top WR and many are projecting the Cleveland Browns will take him at #6. Let’s say that does happen and Jones slides out of the top 10 to the Vikings at #12. Should that happen, a WR-needy team may be interested in jumping ahead of the Detroit Lions, who sit at #13 and might be tempted to pair Jones up with Calvin Johnson, even though WR is not a priority need for the Lions. In that scenario, I think the following teams – with their pick in parenthesis – are potential trade partners for the Vikings: St. Louis (#14), Miami (#15), Jacksonville (#16), Kansas City (#21) and Indianapolis (#22).

If the Vikings wind up in this scenario, they could swap with Miami or even Jacksonville and still likely end up with the player they liked at #12. Or, they could swap with the Chiefs or Colts and wind up with many of the players mentioned in Possibility #1.

Possibility #3: I almost didn’t include this scenario because it takes the Vikings out of the 1st round, which fans certainly don’t want to read about, especially after the team traded out of the 1st round last year. But let’s at least consider it before we dismiss the idea.

I mentioned earlier that the Patriots own 3 of the first 33 picks in this year’s draft, giving them flexibility to move up nearly anywhere in the 1st round. Well the Denver Broncos own 3 of the first 46 picks, including the 4th and 14th choices in the 2nd round. So although it would be quite costly, the Broncos could move up to #12 overall from the beginning of the 2nd round, giving them 2 players in the top 12. The cost would be a king’s ransom of picks in the 2nd-4th rounds, which would allow the Vikings to take a serious look at 2nd-round QB prospects as well as a bevy of other players at various positions. This draft is extremely deep on the defensive side of the ball, so many players that may have ordinarily been 1st-round picks could fall into the 2nd round and still be solid pros. Again, this is probably the most unpopular possibility of the 3, but it’s something to at least consider.

Before we go, check out this trade chart for a rough gauge on how teams value certain picks. The chart is something I’ve seen in the past and is also something a reader pointed out to me this afternoon. I didn’t include the trade chart in this week’s edition of Monday Morning Mailbag because I’m not sure if the chart is actually used by teams or if it’s outdated due to developments in the Collective Bargaining Agreement (CBA) impasse. Regardless, it’s at least a rough gauge on the value teams place on certain picks.

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