One question I had as the Vikings prepared for this year's draft while lacking a second-round pick because of last year's Yannick Ngakoue trade: If they attempted to recoup a second round pick, would they be more likely to do it via a trade down in the first round or a trade up from the third and fourth rounds?
As it turns out, it was a little of both: Vikings GM Rick Spielman did trade down in the first round — nine spots with the Jets, while still being able to select offensive tackle Christian Darrisaw — but he wasn't able to convert that trade into a second round pick yet.
Instead, the deal saw the Vikings add two third rounders (while dealing away a fourth rounder), including the No. 66 overall pick from the Jets — the second pick of the third round.
The move gave Minnesota four third-round picks and three fourth-round picks heading into Day 2 of the draft. That's more than enough equity to trade into the second round — perhaps even twice, if Trader Rick is so inclined. What are some likely scenarios?
Andrew Krammer and I talked through a couple of these on Friday's Daily Delivery podcast, which also included a recap of the first round and an analysis of just what a potential Aaron Rodgers trade would mean for the NFC North.
If you don't see the podcast player, click here to listen.
But let's explore in a little more depth here. Let's use the draft pick value chart first developed by Jimmy Johnson about 30 years ago (shown here on Pro Football Reference) and still adhered to by teams as they try to maintain fair value in draft trades as we construct a few practical trading partners for the Vikings given needs and equity on both sides.
Each pick is assigned a point value, with the idea that both teams get equal or near-equal points in the swap:
*A big swing: Krammer said a lot of the pass rushers the Vikings might want could have value around the middle of the second round.
They might find a willing trade partner in San Francisco, which has the No. 43 pick but then doesn't have another selection until No. 102 overall. The Vikings could get close to the equal value of the No. 43 pick (470 points) by trading No. 66 (260 points) and No. 78 (200 points), their two best third-round picks, for 460 total points.
They could throw in the 199th overall pick (12 points) to bridge the final gap, but more importantly they could offer the 49ers two top-100 picks (top-80, even) that teams covet.
The Vikings could take an even bigger swing further up into the second round, but that sort of move probably isn't necessary and would involve giving up even more relatively valuable mid-round picks that the Vikings likely want to keep to bolster their own depth.
*A medium jump: One intriguing possible move would be dealing the No. 78 (200 points) and No. 86 (160 points) picks in the third round — the Vikings' own third-round selection plus the lower of the third-rounders acquired Thursday from the Jets — to the Colts for No. 54 overall (360 points) in the second round. Those point values line up perfectly, and Indianapolis might be looking for quantity because it currently doesn't have a third-round pick.
An added benefit of that trade would be the Vikings would keep the No. 66 overall pick near the top of the third round, which they could use themselves or perhaps even package with a lesser pick for another swing in the second round. Speaking of which ...
*A small jump up: Let's say it's getting close to the end of the second round and the Vikings have a player in mind they're worried will be chosen by a team ahead of them before pick 66 early in the third round arrives.
They could package the No. 66 pick they just acquired (260 points) plus, say, their lowest fourth-round pick, No. 134 overall (39 points) for a total of 299 points to move up to 60th overall (300 points), a late second-round pick currently owned by the Saints. New Orleans, which has the least amount of cap space in the NFL, might want to add more low-cost rookies to its roster and be enticed for a two-for-one swap that only costs them six draft slots.
Overall, one move into the second round should cost two two picks in the third/fourth rounds. Two moves into the second round likely would cost four total picks — moves that might allow the Vikings to address in a meaningful way both defensive end and guard with top-60 picks.
The Vikings have seven overall in those rounds now, so they have the capital to do what they want — provided they find willing trading partners — while still keeping a handful of those mid-round picks to use on their own selections.