Let the depth chart building commence.
The Vikings enter the final rounds of the NFL draft with a stockpile of picks — seven — to round out the roster. That starts with the second pick Saturday.
General Manager Rick Spielman added another pick Friday night by trading out of the third round. Spielman sent their third-round pick (94th overall) to Tampa Bay in exchange for the second pick of the fourth round (102nd) and the sixth pick in the sixth round (180th).
“We have an opportunity to pretty much control [Saturday],” Spielman said Friday night. “We can take the best player available or move down some and add picks. I think there’s still a lot of value out there in the third day.”
That gives the Vikings nine picks. Most of the class will come together in late rounds after the additions of cornerback Mike Hughes (30th overall) and tackle Brian O’Neill (62nd).
The Vikings contemplated trading up in the second round while a flurry of offensive linemen were taken, but Spielman did not have a fourth-round pick nor did he want to offer 2019 draft picks.
“My philosophy has been the more swings you can take, the better odds you have of hitting on guys,” Spielman said.
Tight end, defensive tackle and linebacker are among the Vikings’ remaining needs.
Look for the Vikings to add players at all three positions. Keep an eye on defensive tackle Maurice Hurst, the disruptive Michigan product who is falling in the draft because of EKG irregularities reportedly found during medical testing. Hurst has the talent to be a starter, and the Vikings need more long-term options on the defensive interior.
What they’ll have to decide, like all teams, is whether Hurst is worth the medical risk relative to the round he’s selected.
At tight end, the Vikings saw a couple intriguing prospects — Mike Gesicki (Penn State) and Dallas Goedert (South Dakota State) — get drafted Friday. Still available is Wisconsin’s Troy Fumagalli, who came to Eagan for a pre-draft visit with the Vikings.
A late-round linebacker is practically a given with the Vikings. Spielman has drafted a seventh-round linebacker in three of the past four drafts. There are just six linebackers on the roster currently.