VikesCentric is written by Twin Cities football writers Bo Mitchell of SportsData and Patrick Donnelly, who has written on a variety of Minnesota sports topics. Mitchell and Donnelly are Twin Cities-based Vikings and NFL experts who crunch numbers, watch video and tell you what's on their minds.

VikesCentric: What they gave up for Patterson

Posted by: Patrick Donnelly under Vikings, Vikings management, Vikings players, Vikings rookies, Vikings roster moves Updated: April 26, 2013 - 11:30 AM

The first round of the NFL Draft was a whirlwind on Thursday night. The Vikings got a gift when Florida defensive tackle Sharrif Floyd fell to them at No. 23, and they got a replacement for Antoine Winfield in Florida State cornerback Xavier Rhodes at No. 25.

But the biggest story of the night was yet to come. The Vikings pulled off a deal with New England, sending four picks (Nos. 52, 83, 102 and 229) to the Patriots for the 29th pick, which they used to select Tennessee wide receiver Cordarrelle Patterson.

(One quick aside: The Purple needed a quality receiver for a couple of important reasons – to make up for the loss of Percy Harvin, and to give themselves the best chance possible to truly evaluate Christian Ponder this year. At the end of the 2013 season, they absolutely have to know whether Ponder is capable of being their franchise quarterback. Thus far, his rookie year was a wash due to the NFL lockout that robbed him of his first offseason, the presence of Donovan McNabb and late-season injury problems. Last year, it wasn't entirely clear whether Ponder's struggles were self-inflicted or caused by an anemic crop of receivers that became downright putrid when Harvin missed the last two months with an ankle injury. The additions of Greg Jennings and Patterson should remove any excuse for Ponder and allow the coaching staff to assess exactly what they've got in their third-year starter.)

The reaction to the Patterson trade was predictable. Fans gathered at Mall of America Field were beyond thrilled to see the Vikings maneuver back into the first round and grab a big-name player they could instantly envision slicing through opposing defenses in that slick new uniform. The national take was not as kind, in part because "four for one" always sets off alarms, and in part because the national media always swoons in the presence of Bill Belichick.

But what did the Vikings actually give up in that trade? The oft-cited Draft Trade Value Chart popularized by former Cowboys head coach Jimmy Johnson in the early 90s has somewhat fallen out of favor among football insiders, but given that the talking heads on TV are usually about a decade late to the dance, you'll probably see the following breakdown at some point in the discussion:

Pick

Value to NE

Value to MIN

29

 

640

52

380

 

83

175

 

102

92

 

229

---

 

TOTAL

647

640

So, pretty much a push, right? Factor in the Vikings' desperate need at wide receiver, and it makes even more sense to spend that draft capital on a potential impact player at that key position in a critical juncture for the franchise, with a likely make-or-break year for Ponder looming.

As for history, what kind of return can the Patriots expect on those picks? Or to put it another way, let's slap some names on those draft picks and see who was taken there in the last five years. Players in bold are considered likely starters heading into this year.

Pick No. 52

Year

Player

Team

Notes

2012

Zach Brown, LB, North Carolina

TEN

16 games, 68 tackles, 5.5 sacks

2011

Marvin Austin, DL, North Carolina

NYG

7 games, 8 tackles, no starts

2010

Jason Worilds, LB, Virginia Tech

PIT

42 games, 45 tackles, 10 sacks

2009

David Veikune, DE, Hawaii

CLE

14 games, no starts, out of NFL

2008

Quentin Groves, LB, Auburn

JAX

on 4th team in 6 years, 29 starts

 

Pick No. 83

Year

Player

Team

Notes

2012

Mohamed Sanu, WR, Rutgers

CIN

8 games, 16 rec, 154 yds, 4 TDs

2011

Jerrel Jernigan, WR, Troy

NYG

17 games, 3 rec, 22 yds, 0 TDs

2010

Corey Peters, DT, Kentucky

ATL

2-year starter, lost job to injury

2009

Brandon Tate, WR, North Carolina

NE

solid PR/KR, 37 catches, 643 yards

2008

Jeremy Zuttah, G, Rutgers

TB

74 games, 60 starts

 

Pick No. 102

Year

Player

Team

Notes

2012

Kirk Cousins, QB, Michigan St.

WAS

Solid backup to RGIII

2011

Jordan Cameron, TE, Southern Cal

CLE

22 games, 20 rec, 226 yds, 1 TD

2010

Darryl Sharpton, LB, Miami

HOU

27 games, 11 starts, 60 tackles

2009

Donald Washington, DB, Ohio St.

KC

32 games, 5 starts, out of NFL

2008

Jeremy Thompson, DE, Wake Forest

GB

15 games, 3 starts, out of NFL

 

Pick No. 229

Year

Player

Team

Notes

2012

Bryce Brown, RB, Kansas St.

PHI

564 yds, 4 TDs, filled in for McCoy

2011

Jonathan Nelson, DB, Oklahoma

STL

2 games, out of NFL

2010

Eric Cook, C, New Mexico

WAS

6 games, no starts, out of NFL

2009

Manuel Johnson, WR, Oklahoma

DAL

2 games, 1 catch, out of NFL

2008

Cary Williams, DB, Washburn

TEN

2-year starter in BAL, now in PHI

Of course, the Patriots (like any organization) will argue that they'll do a better job of player evaluation and come up with a few diamonds in the rough, but the tables show that in the last five years, just 35 percent (7 of 20) of the players drafted in with the four picks the Vikings gave up for Patterson went on to become starters. That's not to say the Vikings robbed New England or vise-versa. We just wanted to lay out the facts and let you decide, rather than have one of the TV talking heads tell you who got the better end of the deal.

Patrick Donnelly is a Senior Editor at SportsData, a contributor to the 2012 Vikings Yearbook, and has covered the Vikings for FOXSportsNorth.com, Viking Update and the Associated Press. Follow him on Twitter at @donnelly612.

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