Spielman said on Tuesday, two days in advance of the first round of the 2016 draft, that he has already received two calls from teams interested in trading up to get the Vikings’ No. 23 overall pick. One of those teams has a pick later in the first round, the other in the second round.
“It’ll be interesting at the 23rd pick because I’ve already had two calls that I can verify today about teams potentially coming up our way,” Spielman said during his annual predraft press conference. “And one potentially may be in the second round, so we’re going to have to make some determinations, and usually those decisions aren’t made until we’re actually on the clock.”
The Vikings likely won’t trade out of that 23rd spot until they know who has already been drafted. The last time they had the 23rd pick in the draft, Sharrif Floyd was considered a top-five pick and slid to the Vikings. He was too good to pass up with a trade.
That’s one of the factors on whether or not Spielman would trade the 23rd pick. The other factor is the Vikings’ depth at a position where a valued player is still available when the Vikings are scheduled to select.
“Do we have another swing at a guy we like at that same position potentially in the second round? Or … don’t move out of the first round because of that fifth-year option,” he said. “Maybe try to move down within the first round and still get a player that you feel very excited to get.”
Spielman has placed an added value on the first round because those picks can have a fifth-year option exercised in their contract, whereas picks after the first round only have four-year contracts. His value on the first-round pick can be seen by the fact that the Vikings have made six first-round picks in the last three drafts, trading back into the first round in 2013 and 2014 to select Cordarrelle Patterson and Teddy Bridgewater, respectively. In 2012, he also got back into the first round to selected Harrison Smith after taking Matt Kalil No. 4 overall, and both of them had their fifth-year options for 2016 exercised last spring.
Spielman is also taking into account “sweet spots” in certain rounds where he feels he can get a starter at a certain position, based on analytical studies the Vikings have conducted.
“We look at the analytics on, ‘OK, slot number 16 and slot number 34: Is there a difference in the value of player you are getting there? Do you still have a chance to get a red starter at the 29th pick the same as you do with the 16th pick?’” he said. “So there are what I call sweet spots on our draft board each round where we see value and if you get below that sweet spot, maybe the value decreases on the type of player you could potentially get.”
So would Spielman trade away his first-round pick?
“I’m always intrigued,” he said. “I’m intrigued in the second round. I’m intrigued in the third, fourth, fifth, sixth round. Usually you can’t trade in the seventh.”
As always, Spielman is listening, waiting and plotting.