ESPN Praises Vikings For Second-Round Trade With Packers

Kirk Cousins / Aaron Rodgers
Sep 15, 2019; Green Bay, WI, USA; Minnesota Vikings quarterback Kirk Cousins (8) greets Green Bay Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers (12) on the field following the game at Lambeau Field. Mandatory Credit: Jeff Hanisch-USA TODAY Sports

At this stage, it’d take a lot to convince me that the first-round trade with the Lions was a good one. Dropping 20 spots and still needing to move the 46th pick isn’t a good move, especially since it was with a division rival. Now, the second-round trade is a different story. Kwesi Adofo-Mensah did a nice job with the Packers trade, gaining great value for his Vikings.

Recently, ESPN gave the Vikings high praise for the move:

Critics will say this is bad because Minnesota let the Packers fill a critical need with the selection of Christian Watson. This is faulty logic because that leaves out the context that Green Bay let Minnesota have two picks that were collectively worth more than what they used on Watson, plus the Packers might have traded up and gotten Watson from someone else anyway.

A willingness to deal with divisional opponents is a good trait for a team to have (though it can amplify an error, as it did for the Packers here).

ESPN thus puts Minnesota’s trade as the fourth-best of the draft.

Obvioulsy, there is some concern that the Packers will again work their magic at receiver. Jordy Nelson, Davante Adams, Randall Cobb, and Greg Jennings were all second-round picks by Green Bay. The track record is long enough to have some confidence in Green Bay’s capacity to identify and develop receiver talent.

Nevertheless, I still believe the Vikings did the right thing by pulling off the trade with the Packers. Regardless of what happened with Minnesota, the Packers could have found receiver talent in the second round. Receivers George Pickens, Alec Pierce, and Skyy Moore went 52nd, 53rd, and 54th. Originally, GB had the 53rd and 59th picks.

By agreeing to the trade, Adofo-Mensah forced GB to cash in two second rounders for a single one, diluting the overall pick total for the Wisconsin rivals. Minnesota could then use that extra draft capital to be aggressive in jumping up for Andrew Booth Jr.

In other words, Minnesota also brought in some great talent, so we’ll wait to see which players excel in the NFL. Currently, it looks like the Vikings set themselves up well.