NFL coaches and personnel executives typically keep their plans and strategies close to the vest in the months and weeks leading up to the draft. Aside from engaging in some gamesmanship and subterfuge, there’s really no upside for teams to disclose their thoughts on certain prospects.
But there’s one issue Vikings VP of Player Personnel Rick Spielman has been clear on in the build-up to this year’s draft: the Vikings want to find a way to recoup the (3rd-round) pick they handed over in last season’s Randy Moss trade.
Prior to and during the Combine, Spielman told reporters he’d like to find a way to score an additional selection during the draft, and he said the same thing on Tuesday while meeting with reporters during his annual pre-draft press conference at Winter Park.
“If we can get a pick we like and get a third round pick, we think we will have had a very successful draft,” Spielman explained.
But Spielman also said he’s taken his staff through other potential 1st-round scenarios, including the possibility of staying put at #12 and taking an impact player.
“There are players we’ve already talked about, that if he is available at the number twelve pick, we aren’t going to move, we are going take that player because we think that he’s significant enough to take him and not trade out,” Spielman continued. “We have been through scenarios where we’ve looked at our team if we move back, lost that player, but picked up a third-rounder. We have also looked at scenarios where we didn’t move back, didn’t have a third-rounder, picked that player and how that player would impact our football team.”
So while it’s crystal clear the Vikings will consider trading back in the draft this year to acquire an additional pick or two, it’s not clear when exactly the Vikings will make that move. It could be in the 1st round, or it could be at a later point.
In some respects, Spielman might not even have a good idea of when a trade back – or up – could happen. Much of how a team behaves during the draft is an after-effect of what happens in front of them.
“You have an idea, but I don’t know because sometimes there are some pretty good players up there, and (you don’t know) where they are going to come off,” Spielman said. “Now if one of those players that we have in the top five comes to us at twelve, I can tell you we aren’t going to trade out, we’re going to take that player.
“You’re going to have to sit back, be patient and wait. Then you’re going to have to weigh in when you’re on that clock and look at your options and how many bodies you have left so you could potentially move back, pick up a third round pick, and still get one of those three or four players that you would’ve taken at 12 anyway.”
Tags: 2011 NFL Draft, Rick Spielman
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