A Few Details Covering Minnesota’s Past Few Drafts

Aug 9, 2019; New Orleans, LA, USA; Minnesota Vikings general manager Rick Spielman (right) talks with New Orleans Saints general manager Mickey Loomis (left) before the game against the New Orleans Saints at the Mercedes-Benz Superdome. Mandatory Credit: Chuck Cook-USA TODAY Sports

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The Vikings entered last year’s draft with twelve draft picks. They ended up making fifteen selections. In 2019, Minnesota began with eight picks, but they ended up snagging twelve players by the end of the draft. Originally, Minnesota had eight picks in 2018, and they only chose eight players. Even still, it’s safe to say that there is a discernible trend. Rick Spielman loves to acquire plenty of draft picks. There are seven rounds. The last time Minnesota took seven or less players was in 2009.

Minnesota will be choosing ten players during the draft. The original plan was to be able to choose twelve, but the franchise was forced to give up a seventh-round pick due to a violation of the salary cap rules in 2019. A couple days ago, they traded a sixth-round pick to the Cardinals for Mason Cole. We can be fairly confident that by the end of the draft, Minnesota will have chosen more than eleven players, though.

Minnesota didn’t trade either first-round pick in 2018 or 2019. In 2020, though, Minnesota originally owned the 22nd and 25th picks. They chose Justin Jefferson at 22 (which, as it turns out, ended up being the right decision). They dealt the 25th pick for the 31st, 117th, and 176th picks. The 49ers got Brandon Aiyuk at 25. Minnesota got Jeff Gladney (31), D.J. Wonnum (117), and K.J. Osborn (176). Both sides should be satisfied with this deal.

What’s reasonable compensation for the 14th overall pick? Glad you asked. The Draftek Trade Value Chart provides at least a rough guide. Minnesota’s first-round pick is given a numerical value of 1100. If, for instance, Pittsburgh wanted to jump up to snag a QB to replace Big Ben, they could partner the 24th pick (740 points) and 55th pick (350 points). It’s almost equal value.

Of course, teams are not beholden to the Trade Value Chart, and each franchise will be considering factors that go beyond mere internet trade guides. Nevertheless, there is good reason to believe that Slick Rick would be open to giving his Vikings more draft picks. For what it’s worth, last season’s 14th overall pick was Javon Kinlaw; the 24th pick was Cesar Ruiz and the 55th was J.K. Dobbins.

If several quarterbacks go in the top-10, Minnesota will find themselves in a good position. Top-end talent will get pushed down into the teens, allowing Spielman to select a player who should have gone higher. Alternatively, Spielman might be able to trade the pick in exchange for a late-first and then perhaps a second. Unless there is a trade, Minnesota’s next pick will be 78th overall. They pick again at 90.

In any case, fans should expect Minnesota to come away from the draft with more than eleven players. This is a huge number when you consider that there are only seven rounds. Picking multiple contributors will go a long way in Minnesota being able to make a run next season.

The draft begins Thursday, April 29.