This installment of “Off the Board” should be a crowd-pleaser. The draft-night wheeling and dealing has made the first round of the NFL draft must-see TV. Trades are going to happen the night of April 30, and the Vikings and the NFL’s 31 other teams must be prepared to react to them.
So this time around, let’s throw in a trio of trades before the Vikings are on the clock at No. 11.
So a blockbuster trade for Marcus Mariota? Let’s do it. A team trading up for Amari Cooper? Sure, why not? Another deal involving Kevin White? Go ahead and put that on the board, too. Then the question will be what will the Vikings do once the dust settles? Start reading for my best guess.
1. Buccaneers: Jameis Winston, QB, Florida State. Nothing changes here. Winston is the pick for the quarterback-needy Buccaneers, who cross their fingers and hope he matures off the field.
2. Eagles (trade with Titans): Marcus Mariota, QB, Oregon. Our first big trade. I don’t know how, but the Eagles move up 18 spots to reunite Mariota with Chip Kelly, his old Oregon coach.
3. Jaguars: Dante Fowler, DE/OLB, Florida. The Jaguars, who took Blake Bortles a year ago, have their choice of non-quarterbacks. Let’s give them Fowler, who may be the top edge rusher.
4. Raiders: Leonard Williams, DE, USC. The Raiders could also be a candidate to trade down. But with Williams still on the board, they add another difference-maker to help build their defense.
5. Rams (trade with Redskins): Amari Cooper, WR, Alabama. They just got a new quarterback in Nick Foles. Now they move up five spots for Cooper, the most pro-ready receiver available.
6. Jets: Randy Gregory, DE/OLB, Nebraska. The Jets stocked up on cornerbacks for Todd Bowles’ aggressive defense. Now they select an edge rusher in Gregory to help his blitzes hit home.
7. Bears: Vic Beasley, DE/OLB, Clemson. The Bears are transitioning to a 3-4 defense and need pass rushers and bulk on the inside, too. Here, they take Beasley and look for big guys later.
8. Browns (trade with Falcons): Kevin White, WR, West Virginia. The Browns, one of two teams with two first-rounders, trade a second-day pick to move up four spots to select White.
9. Giants: Andrus Peat, OT, Stanford. The Giants historically have liked to spend their first-round picks on offensive and defensive linemen. In this scenario, they draft an offensive tackle in Peat.
10. Redskins (trade with Rams): Trae Waynes, CB, Michigan State. After dropping back in that trade with the Rams, they select Waynes, a potential Vikings target, to boost their secondary.
11. Vikings: Brandon Scherff, OL, Iowa. After all that activity before their pick, the Vikings could trade down, as well. But we’ll save that for a future installment of “Off the Board.” Instead, they stay put and choose from a cluster of players that includes Scherff, Louisville receiver Devante Parker and Missouri defensive end Shane Ray. All three of those players could help, but after they opted against upgrading the offensive line in free agency, Scherff would start at left guard right away.
OK, your turn. Leave a comment to tell me who you would want the Vikings to pick in this scenario.