The Vikings’ Draft Pick War Chest: A 3-Year Outlook
Another week, another resource to (hopefully) provide further clarity about where this organization finds itself. The Vikings’ draft pick war chart is our focus.
Initially, the focus was on Kwesi Adofo-Mensah and his trading ways. The complete Kwesi Trade Tracker was prompted by the Za’Darius Smith move. Letting the young GM to continue cooking without starting to keep track of trades would have quickly led to a situation that would be far too unruly. A couple more years of Kwesi’s prolific trading habits would have created a truly gargantuan task for the writer looking to parse through all the details.
Our task today is considerably less ambitious. Less tiny details and circuitous information for someone to get their foot snagged. In a perfect world, all the details below are correct – I’ve made an effort! – but my human frailty remains. If you see an error, feel free to send along a note to me on Twitter (@VikingsGazette).
The Vikings’ draft pick war chest is a 3-year look at Minnesota’s upcoming draft picks. These are assets that can be used to either acquire a player in the draft or via trade. Anyone looking for further clarity about how Minnesota arrived at where they are for their overall pick allotment can gain insight from the aforementioned trade tracker (found on PurplePTSD).
The Vikings’ Draft Pick War Chest
Subtractions: The team’s 3rd-round selection (T.J. Hockenson trade), 5th-round selection (Jalen Reagor trade, which still has some conditions), & 7th -round selection (Nick Mullens trade).*
Commentary: In recent months, there has been plenty of discussion about how differently things may look going into the ’24 season. A ton of Vikings will be free agents and the team is sitting on a hefty pile of cap space. The potential is there for a mini roster overhaul.
Whoever remains on the team going into 2024 has fully become Kwesi Adofo-Mensah’s and Kevin O’Connell’s. Right now, the new leadership is still sifting through players brought in by the former regime who may be at odds with the current direction. Surviving the next offseason will be the moment when things have clearly shifted to a roster that bears a distinct resemblance to the new GM and HC.
As it stands, Minnesota has seven selections going into the 2024 NFL Draft. Given all the trade activity in Adofo-Mensah’s still-young GM career, it’s a notable total. After all, the Vikings said goodbye to draft picks while acquiring Jalen Reagor, T.J. Hockenson, and Nick Mullens.
One other note to keep in mind (shout out to PurplePTSD managing editor Josh Frey for pointing this out): there’s a possibility the 5th the Vikings received in the Za’Darius/Browns deal isn’t Cleveland’s own but the 5th they owned due to moving Baker Mayfield to Carolina.
- 5th & 5th (Cleveland)
- 7th (Pittsburgh, Conditional)
Subtractions: The team’s 6th– & 7th-round selections (Za’Darius Smith trade).
Commentary: Signing Jesse Davis always seemed like an odd move. For a while, he was the favorite to win the RG job in 2022, but the Vikings eventually handed things over to Ed Ingram. Adofo-Mensah sought to regain some cap space and draft capital by shipping Davis off to Pittsburgh. The return was a modest conditional 7th.
The team is currently working with an even seven picks to go along with the seven rounds. The notable detail, of course, is that Minnesota upgraded their late-round selections by moving Za’Darius Smith to Cleveland. There’s a void in the 6th round but Minnesota’s leadership will welcome that given that they’re working with an extra 5th-rounder.
Keep an eye on these picks as the ’23 season inches closer. The Vikings’ GM may lean into future draft capital to patch a hole or two in the present.
- 7th & 7th (conditional – Rams)
Commentary: No longer untouched, the draft capital allotment for 2026 still looks boring and bland. Some will insist that’s a good thing. Owning plenty of draft capital means the team is well-positioned to either re-stock the roster with their own selections and/or be more aggressive by shopping for trade acquisitions. Options aplenty for Kwesi Adofo-Mensah.
* My thanks to a social media post that very helpfully reminded me about the trade involving Nick Mullens. Last updated on Thursday, September 21st, 2023.