Vikings, Ravens Could Still Agree to Draft Night Trade
The Minnesota Vikings and Baltimore Ravens find themselves as trade bedfellows — a lot. Since the start of the 2019 NFL calendar, the two purple teams have swapped assets four times.
The first in the string of transactions was 2019, and the Ravens wanted to scoot up the 3rd-Round pecking order to draft wide receiver Miles Boykin. They did just that. In return, the Vikings flipped the nine-spot climb for three picks that resulted in Alexander Mattison, Marcus Epps, and Oli Udoh.
Then, there was the silly Kaare Vedvik exchange. Minnesota acquired the underwhelming punter/kicker for a 5th-Round pick, which the Ravens turned into Broderick Washington in 2020. Next came the episode of general manager Rick Spielman playing around with the Stefon Diggs trade capital. Spielman traded a 2020 6th-Rounder [and change] for a 2021 5th-Rounder [and change]. The “change” for the Vikings was Kenny Willekes, a 7th-Round defensive end currently on Minnesota’s depth chart.
The latest deal involved Yannick Ngakoue. Spielman snatched Ngakoue from the Jacksonville Jaguars for a 2021 2nd-Round selection, watched Ngakoue wear white horns for six games, and then kicked them the hell out to Baltimore for a 2021 3rd-Round pick — that the Vikings will spend in one week.
So, the two franchises hop into bed often. It was with the Ravens that the Vikings bartered to land Harrison Smith in the 2012 NFL Draft, too.
Left tackle Orlando Brown Jr. was on the trade block for a few weeks recently. Minnesota was theorized to be a part of the sweepstakes for the mammoth man. While that may have been true, the Kansas City Chiefs did what sensible, Super Bowl-contending franchises do — they paid a hefty sum of draft capital for a sure-fire, young left tackle. Brown will now protect boy wonder Patrick Mahomes’ rump for the foreseeable future.
In that deal, the Chiefs sent their 31st overall pick in the 2021 NFL Draft and some other stuff to Baltimore for Brown. The Ravens now own the 27th and 31st overall picks in next week’s draft.
And that’s a perfect price to pay for the Vikings 14th pick in the 1st Round. Conceivably — because Spielman has the Ravens on speed dial — Minnesota could move back 13 rungs on the draft ladder, grabbing the 27th pick and the 31st pick from Baltimore for Spielman’s #14.
Baltimore would indeed have something in mind for the 14th pick — likely a wide receiver. For two years, Ravens punditry and football brains, in general, have lambasted Baltimore’s brass for not surrounding 2019 MVP Lamar Jackson with advanced weaponry. Right now on head coach John Harbaugh’s depth chart, the Ravens employ Marquise Brown, Sammy Watkins, the aforementioned Boykin, and Devin Duvernay as pass-catchers. That isn’t lousy, but it isn’t fear-inducing either.
Ergo, the Ravens would scramble to the Vikings 14th pick to land a wide receiver — a player like DeVonta Smith or Jaylen Waddle.
The Vikings would seemingly have to surrender something like the Ravens own 3rd-Rounder from the Ngakoue trade, but that should be a reasonable ransom, justifying the Vikings two 1st-Round selections.
It should be noted: Spielman loves multiple 1st-Round picks in a single draft. Well, every general manager presumably enjoys the notion, but Spielman effectuates it frequently. Minnesota has drafted multiple players in the 1st Round four times in the last nine drafts (2012, 2013, 2014, and 2020).
Hypothetically holstering the 27th and 31st picks gives Spielman the luxury of drafting both an offensive and defensive lineman. Players like Jaelan Phillips (EDGE), Gregory Rousseau (EDGE), Jayson Oweh (EDGE), Christian Barmore (DT), Landon Dickerson (OL), Alex Leatherwood (OL), Teven Jenkins (OL), or Samuel Cosmi (OL) could be available that “late” at #27.
Badda bing — the Vikings roster needs would be checked off the list, and Spielman would await the 3rd and 4th Rounds to begin his four-pick bonanza in those two venues.
Keep an eye on it because the Vikings and Ravens love doing business together.