Matt Vensel is in his first year at the Star Tribune after covering the Ravens for the Baltimore Sun for six years. He is a Pittsburgh native and a Penn State grad. Follow him at @mattvensel.


Mark Craig has covered the NFL for 23 years, and the Vikings since 2003 for the Star Tribune. He is one of 44 Pro Football Hall of Fame selectors. Follow him at @markcraignfl.


Master Tesfatsion is the Star Tribune’s digital Vikings writer. He is a 2013 graduate of Arizona State and worked for mlb.com before arriving in Minneapolis. Follow him at @masterstrib.


Totally unfounded Vikings trade speculation and the cost of moving up or down

Posted by: Matt Vensel under Vikings, Lions, NFL draft Updated: April 25, 2014 - 1:21 PM

The NFL draft being held in early May means that we will be subjected to an additional two weeks of relentless draft speculation. Frankly, I’m feeling a little left out.

So since it’s almost the weekend, let’s get wacky and put our speculating hats on and take a look at which teams picking around the Vikings might be interested in brokering a draft night trade.

Heck, this might even be informative. After all, G.M. Rick Spielman has shown he isn’t afraid to wheel and deal, so it is worth getting an idea of what it would cost to move up from No. 8 and what could be gained from moving down, according to the old-school NFL draft value chart. Of course, demand (or lack thereof) can change the cost, but the chart is a helpful starting point.

SCENARIO #1: BLOCKBUSTER TRADE WITH THE RAMS

Spielman has made aggressive trade-ups in each of the past two drafts, but that would be nothing compared to a potential bold move for the No. 2 pick. The Rams have two picks in the top 13 and there is speculation they could be looking to drop back from No. 2 and accumulate more picks. So what would it cost Spielman to make a splash by moving up six spots? The value chart says a fair deal would be trading the Rams a 2014 second-rounder and a 2015 second-rounder (and maybe throwing in a late-round pick). Of course, the cost would likely be even greater if the Texans passed on Jadeveon Clowney with the No. 1 pick. The Rams could really cash in then.

SCENARIO #2: JUMPING UP TWO OR THREE SPOTS

The Raiders at No. 5 and the Falcons at No. 6 are two teams that could end up dropping back. The Raiders have a ton of needs and could benefit from adding a couple of extra picks. The Falcons, meanwhile, are a team that many feel could try to move up because they gambled a couple of years ago on Julio Jones. But that deal hurt their overall depth, and they could look to replenish the roster if they feel they can get a player they really like a couple of picks later. A second-round pick or a combination of a third and a fourth might be enough to get this done.

SCENARIO #3: CATCHING A FALLING STAR (QB)

Now it’s time to really start speculating. Say the Vikings really love a certain star quarterback. We’ll call him Johnny Bridgebortles. He is still on the board at No. 7, but the Vikings get a call from the Buccaneers, who inform them that a team in the teens has expressed an interest in trading up for a quarterback. Maybe it’s real. Maybe it’s not. But if you love a certain QB, do you have the stones to sit tight at No. 8? To move up, it might cost a fourth-rounder. Or maybe even one of your two third-round picks. But if you really believe that Johnny Bridgebortles is the answer at quarterback -- and I’m not saying they think he is -- it’s a deal you might be forced to make.

SCENARIO #4: DETROIT WANTS A WIDE RECEIVER

Another popular draft rumor you keep hearing -- and that fact that you keep hearing it might prompt you to question its merits -- is that the Lions want to trade up and select a wide receiver to play alongside Calvin Johnson and Golden Tate. Wait, these are the Lions we are talking about, so trading up for a wide receiver actually sounds totally legitimate. Anyway, if Sammy Watkins or Mike Evans is still on the board and the Vikings aren’t all that interested, they could score an extra fourth-round pick by swapping picks with the Lions, who have the No. 10 pick.

SCENARIO #5: DROPPING TO THE MIDDLE OF THE PACK

Spielman is known for trading up. But with a new coach tasked with overhauling the league’s 31st-ranked defense, maybe he considers dropping back to give Mike Zimmer a couple of extra draft picks to build with. One team that comes to mind is the Rams, who are picking at No. 13. But since we’re throwing stuff off the wall here, let’s look at what the Vikings could stand to get if, say, the Ravens wanted to make a Spielmanian move up the draft order. It might bum you out if the Vikings were to slide back nine picks, but would you feel better about it if they added a second-rounder, a sixth-rounder and a late-round pick in 2015? It’s something to think about.

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