Vikings General Manager Rick Spielman made four trades during the third round of the NFL draft on Friday night, adding four picks and giving him “currency” to make more trades on Saturday, the final day of the draft.
Entering Saturday, the Vikings will have nine more picks after nabbing offensive players with their first three selections.
“Would I have predicted we’d have nine picks tomorrow?” Spielman said. “No, but that’s how it unfolded.
“Why not move back and get the currency?”
After taking North Carolina State center Garrett Bradbury in the first round Thursday, the Vikings claimed Alabama tight end Irv Smith Jr. in the second round.
Then the wheeling and dealing started.
The Vikings had the 81st pick but traded the third-rounder to Detroit for No. 88 and a sixth rounder (No. 204).
Before the 88th pick came around, the Vikings dealt it to Seattle for the 92nd pick and a fifth-rounder (No. 159). To that point, the Vikings didn’t have a fifth-rounder.
But the 92nd pick was then sent to the New York Jets for No. 93 and a seventh-rounder (No. 217). Baltimore then got No. 93 from Spielman for the 102nd pick and two sixth-rounders (Nos. 191 and 193).
With pick No. 102, the final one in the third round, the Vikings took Boise State running back Alexander Mattison.
The Vikings’ picks Saturday are 120th (fourth round), 159th (fifth round), 190th (sixth round), 191st (sixth round), 193rd (sixth round), 204th (sixth round), 217th (seventh round), 247th (seventh round) and 250th (seventh round).
Spielman was eager to accumulate picks, even if coach Mike Zimmer was not.
“Coach Zim actually was very happy that we got the offense going, but also every time we do the trade-back thing, it’s irritating to him,” Spielman said. “But he knows that we’re going to get some really good players tomorrow. He was ready to unplug the phones again like he is every year.
“I think tomorrow, we’ll be able to even add some on the defensive side with how that board looks right now.”
Robison’s deal has brief cap hit
When the Vikings signed defensive end Brian Robison to a one-day contract so he could retire from the NFL as a member of the team on Tuesday, they created a nice send-off for the 36-year-old, who walked away tied for ninth in team history with 60 sacks.
In the short term, though, the ceremonial move technically had an effect on the team’s salary cap.
The Vikings officially signed Robison to a veteran minimum contract worth $1.03 million; thanks to the veteran minimum salary benefit rule, the deal only counted for $645,000 against the cap. At the time the deal was processed, it was one of the Vikings’ top 51 contracts, meaning it dropped their offseason cap space by about $75,000 to $1.608 million.
Because players aren’t paid in the offseason, though, the deal came with no cash being transferred to Robison. The Vikings got their $75,000 of cap space back once Robison’s deal expired.
Bradbury’s leadership ‘stood out’
Jamaal Stephenson, Vikings college scouting director, spent a lot of time around the offensive linemen at the Senior Bowl. It didn’t take long for Garrett Bradbury, the team’s first-round draft pick, to stand out.
“It’s always great to see guys [at the Senior Bowl],” he said. “The more you see them the more exposure you have to what they can and cannot do. I was down on the field for every practice. I would spend a lot of time with the offensive line group. He was one of the leaders there.
“Actually, when I went to my school visit to N.C. State, he kind of stood out there as well. He was kind of the leader of the team. Not necessarily vocal. But you felt his presence.”
• Vikings’ second-round pick Irv Smith Jr. grew up in New Orleans and played college football in Alabama. On moving to Minnesota: “I’ve seen snow. I’ve never lived in it, but I’ve seen it. I’ll have to get used to it.”