Vikes Expected To Move Around During Draft, But Is That A Good Thing?

Vikings VP of Player Personnel Rick Spielman has seemingly taken on a greater role with Leslie Frazier as head coach, at least while the cameras are running.

Setting aside the fact that there are many smokescreens being put out there this time of year, Spielman seems to have made a genuine promise to Vikings fans that they will be on the move come draft day. 

Translation:  They will partake in the risky practice of trading picks.

It seems like many fans, especially those who comment on Vikings Gab, would be in favor of the Vikings trading backwards to pick up additional picks.  After all, the team has a number of needs that are begging to be addressed.

In addition to trading backwards, it seems that Spielman may also be targeting his favorite prospects and would not hesitate to move up at spots to grab them.

So, it seems that both the Vikings front office and fans of the organization alike are warming up to the idea of some draft day excitement in the form of deal making.  However, I can’t help but wonder about the possibility of a train wreck if these expectations become reality.

I want to be clear, what I am about to type might seem like a laundry list designed to somehow attack Spielman, but that is not my intent.  I know he commands a great deal of respect around the league for his abilities as a scout and thorough research and attention to detail.  When staying put, Spielman has had great success with the Vikings, drafting two offensive rookies of the year and all.

However, the area of his resume that concerns me is his continuous struggles to make successful trades.

Consider that while with Miami, Spielman oversaw a trade of two first round draft picks in exchange for a Ricky Williams that went AWOL on them after one season.  Consider that Spielman “solved” Miami’s post-Marino quarterback woes by trading a second round pick for Daunte Culpepper and another second round pick for A.J. Feeley.  He also traded a third round pick for Lamar Gordon who started two games, rushed for 64 yards, fumbled once, and then moved onto a barely noticeable stint with the Rams.

Perhaps the one that stings the most for Fins fans is the trade that sent defensive end Adewale Ogunleye to Chicago in exchange for Marty Booker and a third round pick which turned out to be Channing “biggest moron on Earth” Crowder.  Ogunleye was a force for the Bears over six seasons recording 42 sacks, 12 forced fumbles, and even an interception.  At the time, Spielman boasted that Booker should be considered a first round talent but spent four seasons with the Fins and never eclipsed 800 yards receiving.

You don’t hear anyone complaining about the blockbuster trade that sent a first round and two third round picks to Kansas City in exchange for Pro Bowl pass rusher Jared Allen.  However, that doesn’t mean Spielman hasn’t made some sketchy trades in his time with the Vikings.

Look at last year alone.  The Vikings made the rare inter-division trade with the Lions, allowing them to snag the player they really coveted in Jahvid Best.  The Lions got a very good playmaker out of the deal while the Vikings ended up with a cornerback seemingly made of glass (Chris Cook) and a defensive end that likes to party and grab cops in the “groin area” (Everson Griffen).  They also got Mickey Shuler Jr. who didn’t last long and is now with the Dolphins.  The Vikings also gave Detroit a fourth round pick in the deal which ended up being offensive tackle Jason Fox.

Later on in last year’s draft, Spielman decided to trade up 11 spots in the second round by providing the Houston Texans with their third round pick in exchange.  The Vikings coveted Toby Gerhart who ended up with a fairly pedestrian rookie season, which might be being kind.  The Texans used the picks to further move around in the draft.

In 2009, the Vikings struggled to bring youth into the roster, as they only ended up having five draft picks after trades for Sage Rosenfels and Kelly Holcomb (and moving up to get Jasper Brinkley) left them a bit short.

In 2008, the Vikings again only had five picks, mostly due to the Jared Allen trade.  That year, the team also gave up a 7th round pick for Brooks Bollinger, gave up their fourth rounder to move up and get Tyrell Johnson, and gave the Packers extra picks to move up and get John David Booty while the Packers used one of our picks to get Matt Flynn who has shown a lot more promise than Booty ever did.

This year the Vikings are short a third round pick after trading for Randy Moss, and we all know how wise that investment ended up being.  They do, however, have an extra fifth round pick because of the trade that sent Sage Rosenfels and Darius Reynaud to the Giants.  I also expect them to get two late round compensatory picks for allowing Chester Taylor and Artis Hicks leave in free agency last year. 

That means the Vikings are expected to have nine draft picks at their disposal this April.  Much chatter centers around the possibility of obtaining even more should the Vikings fall back out of the #12 spot.

My concern, however, is that Spielman will continue to do what he has always done, and make valuable draft picks simple disappear into thin air and limit the number of picks this team makes in April.  If they are all quality picks then the quantity matters less, but given his track record, I would almost prefer that the Vikings stay put and test the “accuracy by volume” theory.

Regardless of how things shake out, I do know one thing…

We’ll be covering all of the excitement during a Vikings Gab Live Chat on all three days of the draft.

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40 Responses to “Vikes Expected To Move Around During Draft, But Is That A Good Thing?”

  1. Lost Viking says:

    Spielman’s draft day strategy has been to move down in the 1st round in exchange for moving up in the 2nd and 3rd rounds.

    Not a bad strategy. However, most NFL teams are trying variations of this resulting to the point there has been a revision to the Draft Day point chart.

    With Chilly out of the way this guy just can’t stop himself from talking. STFU_Dick

  2. Tex Vike says:

    This guy seems to go on and on to hear the sound of his own voice. I got news for him. The draft is a crapshoot. You can pick with the best info on a person, but that doesn’t mean he’ll be a great player. And he also seems to know exactly what Spielman’s real intentions were on draft day. Hey dude, If the Vikes wanted Jahvid Best, they would have kept their pick and drafted him. Why have Best and Peterson on the same team? And Gerhart’s just a rookie for crying out loud. He’ll do better. And no one can predict injuries. It comes with the game. This guy is great writing with 20/20 hindsight, but every moron can do that. Do us all a favor you bum, go hate some other team.

    • Adam Warwas says:

      Oh, c’mon Tex, everybody knows when I type I don’t actually hear the sound of my own voice.

      In all seriousness, you bring up valid points, many of which I tried to qualify in the 7th paragraph. I don’t know what he is thinking and I don’t know what he is going to do, but the part of Spielman’s resume that screams “CAUTION” is the part about his trading habits. Just ask any Fins fan.

      I know they didn’t want Jahvid, but they did want Patrick Robinson who they missed out on by dropping back, not to mention handed Best to a divisional opponent that really coveted him.

      Gerhart is “just a rookie” but all I said was that he had a pedestrian year. Is that innaccurate? I’m not so much upset about the fact that they drafted the kid, I like him, but more about the picks that disappeared in order to get him.

      You can predict injuries. That is what they are trying to do right now at the Combine. Cook was known as fragile and Griffen was known as trouble… go back and check out some scouting reports from one year ago.

      I do have the advantage of writing with hindsight, but if you’ll notice my concern is for the future, I think it is appropriate to use hindsight as a tool to learn from. I know Spielman will be doing that come April… using his experiences, good and bad, to help put together a good draft.

      And I am happy to go hate on some other team, especially the Pack, but am I really not allowed to point out Spielman’s past failings? That’d be like saying “Herschel Walker would be a great running back if he made a comeback in 2011, despite facts that suggest otherwise.”

      C’mon now, I appreciate your comment and hope you do come back, but does anything Spielman has ever done make you confident that some of our valuable picks won’t just disappear this year? I like Spielman, I do, but trades are simply not his strong suit.

      • bigjohnny84 says:

        My vote is for Tex Vike to take a hike and post elsewhere. For this idiot to accuse Adam of hating on the Vikes is just plain stupid. Just a troll writing his ignorance.

        Sincerely Johnny

        • Adam Warwas says:

          Tex is welcome here anytime. Just because we disagree doesn’t mean he isn’t welcome. Disagreements make for great discussion… almost always the “middle ground” is where the answer actually is.

          • bigjohnny84 says:

            Adam, I got to say you handle being called a bum and a moron better than anybody I know. In my opinion your post was honest and accurate and the response was way over the top. But it is your blog so keep up the good work and I’ll STFU for now.

          • Adam Warwas says:

            Well, I called Cook, Crowder and Griffen names in my post, so I probably shouldn’t be one to complain about name-calling. I just don’t like readers to be so darn unhappy with the product we put out here. That’s all.

          • bigjohnny84 says:

            Well I dont know anything about Crowder but your take on Cook and Griffen are 100% spot on. And 1 out of a thousand readers unhappy about the product is pretty damn good if you ask me. You cant please everyone.

          • Adam Warwas says:

            But I can try 🙂

          • bigjohnny84 says:

            Dont beat yourself up Adam not even God can pull that off. lol!

  3. Adam Warwas says:

    Is something really “hindsight” when you thought the same exact thing at the moment it happened?

    There were about 50 readers in the live chat last year and with each pick came a chorus of “WHAT THE HELL”‘s.

  4. Adam Warwas says:

    While I agree with the “accuracy by volume” mentality in a draft, I wouldn’t be so quick to label it a “crapshoot.”

    32 Billion dollar organizations didn’t get to where they are by making poor investments. Investing millions of dollars annually into evaluating talent would be a poor investment if the Draft were truly a “crapshoot.” While you can’t predict the future, there ARE proven methods to stacking the odds in your favor. The Colts and Patriots aren’t annual contenders because they simply keep getting lucky in the crapshoot. They know what they are doing.

  5. krugjr says:

    Spielman has an average track record at best when in charge of talent…..which is why many of us wanted the Wilfs to “clean house” and start over…..and what’s this hang-up I have about those who don’t, or can’t, speak proper English? Come on, Rick!

    GO VIKES!!!!!

  6. c.carterhof says:

    What the hell. Bad day at the office Tex? That time of the month?
    While you are free to post here, maybe you should be warned that we all respect Adam. We enjoy and appreciate his work here on the Gab.
    The product is fine Adam. Take it easy Tex, there are good people here. If you dont like it here take Johnnys advice…

  7. Lost Viking says:

    Getting back to the top of the draft I count nine of the first twelve teams (75%)selecting this year to be QB-needy.

    Minnesota is at the bottom of the HIGH need pack which starts with (Panther #1), (Bill #3), (Bengal #4), (Cardinal #5) and (Redskin #6).
    Then there are MEDIUM need teams looking for QB but maybe not in the 1st round (Bronco #2), (SanFran #7), Titan #8).

    After Minnesota at #12 there is only one HIGH QBneedy team (Dolphin #15) and a couple MED teams (Jaguar #21 and Seahawg #25) thru the next twenty-two picks.

    Imagine that Gabbert is still on the Board after Titan select. For Viking to trade up 3 spots with Cowboy #9 – just ahead of Shanahan’s Redskin would require the equivalent of TWO 4th round picks.
    (Note: We owe Shanahan who did same w/ Cutler in ’08).

    To get ahead of HIGH QBneed teams you could go to top of the second round (Patriot #33) who nearly always trade down. Vike could trade up 10 spots for equivalent just one 4th rounder. At #33 Vike would get ahead of the QB gauntlet to find the 2nd grade guys possibly including Locker, Kaepernick, maybe Mallett.

    So, if you’re stuck behind this QB-needy group at #12 and #43 it seems stands to reason you’ll want to move around. Spielman seems to be saying he can do the math and expect this to happen based on what Vike have done in the past.

  8. Lost Viking says:

    To try make sense of Spielman’s Draft Day scenario I looked at what a Vike trade with Patriot might look like.

    Patriot are loaded with picks including Vike 3rd rounder (#76) that Spielman apparently wants back.

    Belichick is a smart guy and most of the time (75%) trades down. But Patriot might be interested in Vike #12 pick; especially if there was a Robert Quinn, Von Miller or Akeem Ayers on the board. To move up from #28 to #12 pick would cost Patriot about 500 draft points.

    Vike would move back from #12 to #28, switch of 2nd rounders up from #43 to #33, return Vike 3rd round #76 plus get Patriot 3rd rounder (#92).

    I’d make that trade but what do you think?

  9. Lost Viking says:

    …and one more thing. The Draft may be a crap shoot but its based on probability. Good research is also important.

    Take trading down. This is where smart guys gain an advantage over guys prepared to gamble that they can pick a winner. Smart guys trade down. Only the idiot teams regularly trade up. The idiot teams seem to be the ones with idiot owners and staffed with big ego front office:
    Lion (esp Matt Millen)
    Buffalo Bill

    These teams give up later round picks to move up on draft day. Sometimes it works which encourages them to keep moving up. Smarer guys tend to trade down and accumulate picks:

  10. Tex Vike says:

    Adam, the reason I objected so harshly was that you made it sound (at least to me) in your blog that EVERY draft move Spielman has made was a bad one. You know that isn’t true. I know about the draft, because I’ve been a Viking fan since 1970. As we all know, Vikings have made good and bad picks and trades in the draft in their time. I scratched my head at the Jahvid Best trade as well. But your article seemed to hammer Spielman too hard for my estimation, hence my heavy-handed reply. Anyone who writes about my team in such a way may receive a response such as I posted. But I see that by way of the responses in your favor you are only expressing concern for a team that we all love here, and I sincerely apologize.

    • Adam Warwas says:

      Tex, no need to apologize. It was a good discussion/debate. I was not particularly nice to Spielman in this post, but I don’t see everything through purple colored glasses. Glad we can agree to disagree, hope to see you around here some more 🙂

  11. CSlinde says:

    Carson Palmer

  12. CSlinde says:

    Holy carp! I read back and just now saw all the drama.

    Tex: The fans here ARE fans. Fans that bleed purple, however, we have blood flow above the neck, which allows us enough intelligence to contemplate the future and evaluate the past.
    Dubs puts a lot of time and effort into providing interesting and quality articles.
    He has good insight and offers different takes than some of the mainstream beat reporters who, in the end, are in bed with certain ‘sources’ or too scared to be honest because of the sponsors they serve or networks they lust over.

    PS-I bet Fox News is the ONLY news network you watch. You can GFYS

    • Tex Vike says:

      I apologized for my remarks, CSlinde. Could you do the same? I think not.

      PS: Yes, I do follow Fox News. You must follow the lame-stream media. The ones that are apologists for the current mis-administration and who attack non-liberal political leaders with hysteria and classless venom.

      Now it’s your turn to GFYS. And while you’re at it, STFU.

  13. B. Grant says:

    “Why can’t we be friends,
    why can’t we be friends,
    why can’t we be friends,
    why can’t we be friends?

    Sometimes I don’t speak right.
    But yet I know what I’m talking about.”

  14. Tex Vike says:

    I thought the issue was over with my apology. But I guess somebody for some reason thought to add Fox News in there for some weird reason. And I still believe the issue closed. I would prefer to discuss the Vikings and the possible non-season we may have to endure.

    • bigjohnny84 says:

      Tex, as far as I’m concerned the issue is over, all of our tempers flair up once in a while. And to put things in perspective Cslinde is Adams cousin so you can understand his position. But we all love the vikes and that’s the main thing here. OMG now Freds will call me the voice of reason, bummer.

      PS. I’m with you 110% politically. lol!

  15. Adam Warwas says:

    Politics is not off limits on this blog.

    Questioning my writing, such as Tex did, is not off limits on this blog.

    I can handle my own, will back up my positions, will admit when I am wrong, encourage debate, love to take part in comments section discussion, and like to see my fellow fans have passion.

    What IS off limits on this blog is attacking other readers or telling people that are kind enough to give me a click to shut up or leave. I have banned people in the past and will not tolerate this conversation going one more inch in the direction it is headed.

    Slinde, you won’t get another warning.

    • B. Grant says:

      Good call, Captain. Oh, and Adam, Freds gets kinda “testy” when we mention that Love Boat thingy, so you might want to throw that in the “not tolerate” list too. I, for one, have been given my last warning on that topic.

  16. Tex Vike says:

    *shuffles feet, hands behind back* aw, shucks… gee whiz… let’s shake hands, ok Slinde? *holds out hand*

  17. bigjohnny84 says:

    Ok so we’re good to go then?

  18. Tex Vike says:

    I’m happy, hopefully everyone else is too. 🙂

  19. CSlinde says:

    Tex: I’ll hold my hand out too. Sorry.

  20. CalVkg says:

    oh, crap! just when it was gettin’ good
    kinda reminded me of the ‘ol basement when that wisco zitbag would show up

    do you guys know the viking’s true fight song? hhmmmm??????….

  21. […] upon a time, I wrote an article at Vikings Gab that sparked a very interesting and heated discussion in the comments section because I, at least a […]

  22. […] to the 2011 Draft, I indicated that Spielman has plenty of mistakes on record that resulted from ill-advised trades, but he has somewhat vindicated himself while enjoying more […]

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