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  1. #1
    MauiRam's Avatar
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    Vetting potential trade partners: Vikings

    By Nick Wagoner | ESPN.com

    We're still months away from May's NFL draft, but that doesn't mean it's too early to start looking at the many possible permutations of how things could shake out.

    The St. Louis Rams aren't having an open auction for the No. 2 overall pick like they did in 2012, but general manager Les Snead has already indicated a willingness to move it. Without a pair of clear-cut top quarterbacks, the market may not be in a hurry to make a move which could leave the Rams waiting until they're on the clock before making a deal. As the combine approaches along with pro days, prospects will become more valued and the market could crystallize.

    Free agency is also likely to have an impact on potential trade partners as teams fill needs in other avenues. For now, we'll take a look at a possible Rams trade partner each week for the next six weeks.

    Today, we take a look at a team that proved it wasn't shy about making big draft-day trades in 2013, the Minnesota Vikings. Minnesota holds the eighth pick in the first round.

    Why Minnesota makes sense: Put very simply, the Vikings need a quarterback and this draft doesn't appear to have but three signal-callers deemed to be worthy of a top-10 pick. Those players -- Texas A&M's Johnny Manziel, Central Florida's Blake Bortles and Louisville's Teddy Bridgewater -- are almost certain to be gone by the time the Vikings make their pick.

    Depending on how things shake out over the next few months, some may see Fresno State's Derek Carr entering the picture. But for now, it appears to be a three-quarterback draft when it comes to the top 10. Combining that relatively small supply with a large demand means that if you want to get your hands on a top-three quarterback, you probably need to be drafting in the top five.

    Minnesota had a few interesting quarterback options, but the best one, Matt Cassel, opted out of his contract and there's no guarantee he'll return. Moreover, the Vikings are making no bones about their need to upgrade the position. ESPN Vikings reporter Ben Goessling expertly broke down the importance of finding the right guy with comments from general manager Rick Spielman acknowledging the need to get the right quarterback.

    Last year, the Vikings maneuvered their way into three first-round picks, coming away with an impressive haul led by receiver Cordarrelle Patterson.

    In looking at the teams drafting in the top five, one could argue that the Rams are the only one that don't need (debatable, I know) a quarterback, which could put them in position to make a deal to move down. Even if Houston took a quarterback, a team like the Vikings could be a little more patient and look to move up to get the franchise quarterback they want so long as the Texans don't have the same preference.

    In terms of ammunition, the Vikings also have an extra third-round pick in this year's draft, which could be added to what would have to be a much larger package to make the move up.

    Why Minnesota doesn't make sense: While quarterback is the Vikings' most pressing need, it's also not their only one. Minnesota needs to upgrade its defense and will likely put a premium on that under defensive-minded new coach Mike Zimmer.

    More than that, Minnesota might simply be too far down the pecking order to attempt a trade into the pricey territory occupied by the Rams. Although Minnesota has an extra pick in the third round, it would likely need to surrender something to the effect of the eighth pick, a second-round choice, a future first-round pick and maybe more to move up six spots.

    That doesn't appear to be something Spielman wants to do. In fact, Spielman has made mention of wanting to accumulate up to 10 picks in this year's draft. Trading away a bunch of selections to move up wouldn't help those efforts. Actually, the opposite is true and if the top three quarterbacks are gone as expected, the Vikings might end up being a candidate to move back in the draft.

    From the Rams' perspective, moving all the way down to No. 8 might simply be too far to move to get the type of player they want. If the Rams trade back and stay within the top five or six, they could still have a shot at someone like top receiver Sammy Watkins, top end Jadeveon Clowney or one of the top offensive tackles in Jake Matthews or Greg Robinson. If they moved back to No. 8, that would make for a much murkier proposition.

    The Vikings seem like the most unlikely of the quarterback-needy teams in the top 10 to make a bold move to No. 2. In the end, it might be too costly for Minnesota and too far for the Rams to strike a deal.


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    FestusRam's Avatar
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    Re: Vetting potential trade partners: Vikings

    Quote Originally Posted by MauiRam View Post
    From the Rams' perspective, moving all the way down to No. 8 might simply be too far to move to get the type of player they want. If the Rams trade back and stay within the top five or six, they could still have a shot at someone like top receiver Sammy Watkins, top end Jadeveon Clowney or one of the top offensive tackles in Jake Matthews or Greg Robinson. If they moved back to No. 8, that would make for a much murkier proposition.
    Solid point.

    If we trade down, hopefully we don't trade down so far that we lose out one of these four.

    I think #6 is the furthest down I'd be comfortable with. I definitely see two QBs going in the top 5, leaving us with one of the four mentioned above.

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    Re: Vetting potential trade partners: Vikings

    Quote Originally Posted by MauiRam View Post
    From the Rams' perspective, moving all the way down to No. 8 might simply be too far to move to get the type of player they want. If the Rams trade back and stay within the top five or six, they could still have a shot at someone like top receiver Sammy Watkins, top end Jadeveon Clowney or one of the top offensive tackles in Jake Matthews or Greg Robinson. If they moved back to No. 8, that would make for a much murkier proposition.
    Solid point.

    If we trade down, hopefully we don't trade down so far that we lose out one of these four.

    I think #6 is the furthest down I'd be comfortable with. I definitely see two QBs going in the top 5, leaving us with one of the four mentioned above.

    I'd be ecstatic if we traded down and still landed one of them.
    Last edited by FestusRam; -02-16-2014 at 08:56 PM.

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    Re: Vetting potential trade partners: Vikings

    Any trade with the Vikings must include Xavier Rhodes or Harrison Smith as far as I'm concerned. Either would fill a need we're likely looking to the draft to fill anyway.

  5. #5
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    Re: Vetting potential trade partners: Vikings

    Quote Originally Posted by Fortuninerhater View Post
    Any trade with the Vikings must include Xavier Rhodes or Harrison Smith as far as I'm concerned. Either would fill a need we're likely looking to the draft to fill anyway.
    I don't see it happening. I would love Smith at the back end of our D but the Vikings would be insane to give him up. It would be a surprise if the Rams, being shrewd traders, traded too far back to miss their best targets. They got burnt once on one of these when the Jags jumped us after the Redskins trade and they took Justin Blackmon.

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    Re: Vetting potential trade partners: Vikings

    Quote Originally Posted by tomahawk247 View Post
    I don't see it happening. I would love Smith at the back end of our D but the Vikings would be insane to give him up. It would be a surprise if the Rams, being shrewd traders, traded too far back to miss their best targets. They got burnt once on one of these when the Jags jumped us after the Redskins trade and they took Justin Blackmon.
    You call it burnt, I call it fortunate. There's no way I'd rather have Justin Blackmon over Michael Brockers and a 2nd round pick..

    I don't necessarily see Minnesota giving up Smith either, but the Rams would be the team in the position of power in this scenario, and should demand him as part of the package. All they can say is no, and we simply move on.
    Last edited by Fortuninerhater; -02-17-2014 at 05:26 PM.

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    Re: Vetting potential trade partners: Vikings

    Quote Originally Posted by Fortuninerhater View Post
    You call it burnt, I call it fortunate. There's no way I'd rather have Justin Blackmon over Michael Brockers and a 2nd round pick..

    I don't necessarily see Minnesota giving up Smith either, but the Rams would be the team in the position of power in this scenario, and should demand him as part of the package. All they can say is no, and we simply move on.
    back then we wouldnt have said that... classic hindsight is better than foresight scenario.
    Also-- whos to say Fisher couldnt have shaped Blackmons' character into a more mature decision maker?

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    Re: Vetting potential trade partners: Vikings

    Quote Originally Posted by punahou View Post
    back then we wouldnt have said that... classic hindsight is better than foresight scenario.
    Also-- whos to say Fisher couldnt have shaped Blackmons' character into a more mature decision maker?
    Maybe you wouldn't have, but I'm always looking for more than just one player when it comes to the draft, no matter how great he is.

    Hence, I would rather trade down and accumulate more picks than draft my unquestioned best player in the draft (JaDaveon Clowney). So it's not hindsight for me, it's the way I think.

    Blackmon's character issues and off the field struggles are irrelevant in this case.

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    Re: Vetting potential trade partners: Vikings

    I am starting to like picking Robinson more and more. Yeah his pass blocking is in question, but I feel that can be worked on. I would like to see us trade with Cleveland and not Atlanta. Because of the Snead/Atlanta conection I would be scared of a discount price for the pick. Snead needs to get MAX value out of the pick, or just take Robinson/Matthews/Clowney.

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    Re: Vetting potential trade partners: Vikings

    I agree with Nick that they are a possible suitor, , but the guys in charge in Minny are saying they want to add MORE picks, which makes it seem like they feel that Freeman or Ponder could stll be the guy.
    Barry Waller

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