Spielman explains the trade

Vikings VP of player personnel explains why making the trade out of the first round made sense for the Vikings.

The Vikings are in an interesting position entering the 2010 draft.

Coming off an appearance in the NFC title game, Minnesota isn't a team that has many glaring holes but there are plenty of positions at which it can add for the future and get stronger in the short-term by doing so. That's why trading out of the first round — a deal that moved the Vikings' first pick from 30th overall to 34th — seemed all too logical.

The Vikings traded out of the first round when Detroit, which selected Cal running back Jahvid Best, offered a seventh-round pick and picks No. 34 and 100 for No. 30 and 128.

That left the Vikings with nine picks over the final six rounds of the draft, which will conclude on Saturday. The Vikings also hold the 62nd overall pick in the second round.

"About the 20th pick we started getting a lot of calls and felt that the Detroit deal was the best deal that we had and felt very strongly, because of the depth of this draft, of potentially picking up an extra pick," said Rick Spielman, Vikings vice president of player personnel. "The biggest thing out of the whole trade scenario was that you're the second pick in (Friday's) draft, which is huge.

"And then you look at Saturday, you're going to have the second pick in Saturday's draft. So, coming from the bottom of those rounds to coming up to the top of those rounds, especially when the day kicks off, we're very excited about that. Because, the way our draft board has developed, we have a lot of options as we go into (the second round) and probably will have a lot going into Saturday as well."

As for what the Vikings plan to do with their first second-round pick, Spielman said there are still four players available who Minnesota would be glad to select. The St. Louis Rams hold the first pick of the second round.

Spielman would not identify those four players but they could be Southern Cal safety Taylor Mays, Virginia cornerback Chris Cook; Texas linebacker and end Sergio Kindle; and Notre Dame QB Jimmy Clausen. The Vikings did make one attempt to move up but all Spielman would say was "it was around where we were picking, it was a player that was taken."

That could have been either Tennessee defensive tackle Dan Williams, who went to Arizona at No. 26; Rutgers cornerback Devin McCourty, who went to New England a pick later; or Boise State cornerback Kyle Wilson, who was selected 29th by the Jets.

Also gone by the time the Vikings picked was Florida quarterback Tim Tebow, who had been tied to Minnesota in the days leading up to the draft. Denver grabbed Tebow with the 25th pick.


Cornerback: The Vikings have issues with their two starters at this spot. Veteran Antoine Winfield was slowed by a broken foot for much of last season and Cedric Griffin tore his ACL in the NFC title game at New Orleans and likely will start training camp on the physically unable to perform (PUP) list. Veteran Benny Sapp and Asher Allen, a third-round pick last year, provide depth but the Vikings likely will be on the lookout for a future starter at corner and someone who can add immediate depth. They held a private work out for Cook at Virginia, but there are plenty of late-second and early-third round possibilities.

Offensive line: The Vikings lost the versatile Artis Hicks to Washington in free agency, meaning their top backup at both guard and tackle spots is gone. Ryan Cook, for now, is the primary backup but this likely doesn't thrill the team. There is a chance the Vikings could look to bring in competition for the starting jobs at center (Sullivan) and right guard (Anthony Herrera) although it's not a given a change would be made. Bottom line is the Vikings would like to add some quality depth in the line.

Linebacker: Chad Greenway and Ben Leber are both entering contract years and E.J. Henderson is returning from a broken leg. There isn't much depth here and it appears a good bet that Leber could leave as a free agent after next season. All of this means the Vikings likely will be looking to the draft to add a player who could take over a starting role in 2011.

Viking Update Top Stories