After trading back into the late first round to select Notre Dame safety Harrison Smith on Thursdy night, the Vikings no longer own a second round pick. That could make tonight's NFL Draft action relatively boring for fans of the Purple, unless the team can find a way to move back into the second round. Here's a look at whether they have enough assets to make that happen if they see a player they covet.
The Vikings still own 10 remaining picks, as follows: Round 3, pick 3 [66th overall - i.e. 3.3 (66)], 4.23 (118), 4.33 (128), 4.39 (134), 5.3 (138), 5.4 (139), 6.5 (175), 7.3 (210), 7.4 (211), 7.16 (223). Picks 128 and 134 cannot be traded because they were compensatory picks awarded to the Vikings by the NFL.
Using last year's draft as a guide, it's going to be tough for the Vikings to get too far up in Round 2 without their own No. 2 as a bargaining chip.
In 2011, the 49ers acquired the 36th overall pick from the Broncos, and it cost them a lot; three picks, including the 45th overall pick, a fourth-rounder, and a fifth-rounder. Later in Round 2, it cost the Colts a fifth-rounder and their own second-rounder just to move up four spots in the middle of Round 2. Perhaps the most realistic example involved the Patriots, who traded their own 2nd-rounder (No. 60 overall) to the Texans for Houston's early third and fourth-round selections.
So, without their own second-round pick to barter with, it looks unlikely that the Vikings will be able to get into the early portion of the second round (unless they're willing to talk about trading future second- or third-round picks). However, with their own early third and fourth-round picks, it's feasible that they could move into the latter half of the round if a player they want is still available.
And if they do, look for the Patriots to be involved. After uncharacteristically moving up two different times in the first round on Thursday night, the Pats have only two picks left in the entire draft, and both are second-rounders (2-16 and 2-30). The Patriots have made an art form out of trading down and stockpiling picks, so it wouldn't be surprising at all if Bill Belichick is looking to trade at least one of his two second-rounders in exchange for multiple picks later in the draft. It won't be cheap, though. As mentioned above, the Pats squeezed early picks in rounds three and four from the Texans for the 30th pick in the second round. The Vikings could conceivably make a similar deal for New England's 2-30 pick with their own 3.3 pick and perhaps 4.23 and a sixth or seventh-rounder, but getting all the way up into the middle of the second round might not be an attainable goal.
On a side note, for years NFL general managers used a trade value chart that assigned a value to each pick in the draft, and made trading picks a matter of pure mathematics. The trade value chart was based on the old, pre-lockout NFL economic environment. After last year's collective bargaining agreement implemented a rookie wage scale for each pick in the draft, the value chart is essentially obsolete. For the sake of argument, though, if we use the old value chart to analyze the potential of trading into Round 2, New England's 2.16 pick was worth 420 points, while the Vikings' 3.3 pick is worth only 255, with their own fourth, fifth, and sixth-round picks being worth a combined total of just 122 points. That essentially means that even if the Vikes were willing to trade all of their remaining tradable draft picks, they still wouldn't have enough "value" to get to the middle of Round 2.
Christian Peterson is the Operations Manager at LeagueSafe.com. He is also a contributing writer at Vikings.com and a co-host of the Fantasy Football Weekly radio show on KFAN 100.3 FM.
Follow Christian on Twitter: @CP_ChristianP
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