Vikings vice president of player personnel Rick Spielman addressed reporters late Thursday night after the team traded out of the first round of the NFL Draft, leaving them with nine picks over the final two days.
The Vikings traded their first-round pick (No. 30 overall) to the Detroit Lions for their second round pick (No. 34 overall). The teams also swapped fourth-round picks, which allows the Vikings to move up 28 spots. The Vikings also get Detroit's seventh-round pick, No. 214 overall.
The Lions used the first-round pick to take Cal running back Jahvid Best.
"About the 20th pick we started getting a lot of calls and felt that the Detroit deal was the best deal that we had and felt very strongly because of the depth of this draft of potentially picking up an extra pick," Spielman said. "The biggest thing out of the whole trade scenario was that you’re the second pick in [Friday's] draft, which is huge. You look at Saturday and you’re going to have the second pick in Saturday’s draft. So coming from the bottom of those rounds to coming up to the top of those rounds, especially when the day kicks off we’re very excited about that because of the way our draft board is developed we have a lot of options as we go into [Friday] and probably will have a lot going into Saturday as well.”
Spielman said the Vikings were talking to four teams about trades when they were on the clock and felt like Detroit presented the best deal. He said the Vikings made one attempt to move up and take a player but decided against it. He said that player was subsequently taken.
Spielman declined to discuss any player that was drafted, but the best guess is the Vikings wanted Tennessee defensive tackle Dan Williams, Rutgers cornerback Devin McCourty, or Boise State cornerback Kyle Wilson.
There were indications the Vikings thought Florida State cornerback Patrick Robinson would fall and they could take him with the second pick of the second round. But the Saints took Robinson with the final pick of the first round.
Spielman said earlier this week that team officials identified four players who they thought would be available when they selected at 30th. He said all four are still available. That group includes USC safety Taylor Mays, Texas linebacker Sergie Kindle and Virginia cornerback Chris Cook.
Kindle and Mays were considered first-round picks. We heard from league sources all along that the Vikings liked Cook. Defensive coordinator Leslie Frazier had a private workout with Cook in Virginia after the combine.
"I know probably tomorrow this phone is going to be buzzing again and when you’re up there that high, especially when the day kicks off and now that we’re in the second round and we’re going to be [high] in the fourth round we’re going to be a pretty attractive pick and there will be potential to be able to trade down again over the next two days to accumulate more picks,” he said.
Spielman declined to discuss quarterback Jimmy Clausen's free-fall or whether the Vikings might consider him with the second pick of the second round. The Vikings conceivably could trade down again if they get an attractive offer from a team that wants Clausen.
Spielman said having nine picks the final two days gives the Vikings some flexibility.
"That is one thing that is a huge advantage," he said. "If there is a player and you are sitting in the bottom of the second (round) and you want to go and get that player now you have some ammunition to do that as well. It gives you a lot more flexibility as you finish out this draft of being able to move up or back which is something that we really haven’t had since I’ve been here."