Trade Analysis: Counting the Cost

The Vikings gave up their first-round pick (No. 17 overall), both of their third-rounders (Nos. 73 and 82) and exchanged sixth-round picks (the Chiefs will now pick 182nd and the Vikings 187th) to acquire All-Pro defensive end Jared Allen. Was the price too steep?

The price the Vikings paid to acquire Jared Allen does seem steep.  Their No. 1, both their No. 3s, and even a swap down with a No. 6, but according to the infamous Draft Trade Chart, this deal can be broken down and simplified when evaluating the value of what Minnesota gave up to add a proven, Pro Bowl defensive end who not only led the NFL in sacks with 15.5 last season (in 14 games) but is also considered a solid run defender.

Minnesota gets:
DE Jared Allen
Pick No. 187 (Round 6):  18 points

Kansas City gets:

Pick No. 17 (Round 1):  975 points
Pick No. 73 (Round 3):  230 points
Pick No. 82 (Round 3):  185 points
Pick No. 182 (Round 6):  20 points

So you do the math on that and the Vikings get Allen and the Chiefs get a net total of 1,392 points - which is equivalent to a top-10 draft pick (the No. 9 pick has a value of 1,400 points).

Most serious observers would consider Allen well worthy of a top-10 draft choice.  For the Vikings to have traded up to draft Florida's Derrick Harvey, they likely would have needed to get into the top-10 picks anyway.  This way, they get a proven commodity who can step right in - no learning curve or rookie wall.

The only real downside to the Vikings is the loss of the two No. 3 picks, which essentially means two fewer young, developmental prospects on their roster.  However, with the addition of Allen there is little or no chance of any rookie starting immediately given their current depth chart.  Prior to acquiring Allen, they had already filled virtually every other potential starting position, as well as several backup spots, through free agency.  That said, this year's draft picks will be competing for roles on the field as rookies with an eye toward more playing time in the future.

They still have their No. 2 pick (No. 47 overall), which will indeed be a critical selection and they hope a future starter.  They also enter this weekend's draft with picks at No. 117 (Round 4), No. 150 (Round 5), No. 187 (Round 6), No. 193 (Round 6) and No. 209 (Round 7).  That's six more draft picks to bring to training camp.  Add the priority free agents they will also sign and the competition for opening-day rosters spots will be intense.

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