Trade Winds Blowing?

The Vikings await the seventh overall pick in the draft, but there will be plenty of anticipated movement prior to the seventh pick as teams make their best offers to teams like the Lions and Redskins to get into the lottery portion of the NFL draft.

The 2007 draft is just days away and the Raiders are unofficially on the clock. But, unlike recent drafts, there is no consensus from the first pick to the fifth and beyond who will be going to whom.

From the Vikings' perspective, the two teams that could affect their draft the most would appear to be the Lions, Browns and Redskins. We're becoming more convinced that there is no way Calvin Johnson will be on the board at No. 4, and if the Buccaneers (or anybody else) wants that pick, they're probably going to have to move up to the Lions at No. 2 to take him. Our latest incarnation of the VU mock draft reflects that same sentiment.

While the Lions can easily slide from No. 2 to No. 4 and still get the player they want (either DE Gaines Adams or OT Joe Thomas) as well as a second-rounder from the Bucs (they have two second-round picks) to move up an assure themselves of Johnson, the Browns are a different story. Sitting with the third overall pick, they are expected to go offense – either running back Adrian Peterson or quarterback Brady Quinn. It has been believed that whichever player makes it past the Browns will remain on the board when the Vikings make their pick at No. 7.

But the Redskins shouldn't be discounted in this equation. With the sixth overall pick and no other selections until the fifth round – the ‘Skins trade draft picks with the same delight as Kevin McHale – they are a team that looks desperate to make a move, which could end up having a major impact on whether the Vikings get either Quinn or Peterson.

While Quinn will likely stay on the board if he slides past No. 3, the same isn't true for Peterson. There is a growing sentiment that a team like the Bills or even the Packers will be willing to give up a significant amount to move ahead of the Vikings to fill a glaring need at running back – the Pack lost Ahman Green to free agency and the Bills traded discontented Willis McGahee for magic beans.

It appears unlikely that the Vikings will make a trade to move up in the first round, because according to the point value chart on the draft, it would be cost prohibitive. But, it may not stop other teams from trying to get into the sixth spot, where the Redskins would appear to be so desperate that they'll take anything someone will offer in order to get more picks on Day One.

Stay tuned. The jockeying for position has just begun.

* Mike Tomlin is having his first head-butt session with the Steelers. Veteran guard Alan Faneca skipped last weekend's "voluntary" minicamp and has suggested that he might not be willing to do the voluntary OTA's as well. Tomlin has said he will "cross that bridge when he gets to it," but it looks like if Faneca blows off another minicamp, he will be subject to a stiff fine.
* There's no word if Leslie Frazier or Mike Doss are going to be out of Winter Park today, but the rest of their former coaching mates and teammates on the Colts will be visiting the White House today and meeting President Bush this afternoon.

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