Kwesi Adofo-Mensah Doesn’t Care About Your Trade Value Charts

On the first night of the 2024 NFL Draft, Kwesi Adofo-Mensah and the Minnesota Vikings traded up and got their quarterback of the future. It wasn’t a completely future-leveraging move like we thought it would be, as instead of multiple first round picks being sent into the ether for one of the top prospects, it was just fourth-and-fifth-round picks merely to box out a team like Denver or Las Vegas from jumping Minnesota to take J.J. McCarthy

Unless you are obsessed with draft value charts and the hypotheticals of whether or not the Vikings could take impact players with the draft picks they sent, Minnesota walked out of Thursday night better than any of us could possibly have imagined, landing their quarterback AND edge rusher of the future without sacrificing a single future first round selection, a maneuver we would’ve deemed impossible before the draft.

Did Kwesi Adofo-Mensah Win His Draft Trades?

Kwesi Adofo-Mensah
Feb 27, 2024; Indianapolis, IN, USA; Minnesota Vikings general manager Kwesi Adofo-Mensah speaks during a press conference at the NFL Scouting Combine at Indiana Convention Center. Mandatory Credit: Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

Whatever they traded – even if they had to deal four 1st round picks to get McCarthy and Dallas Turner – could seem like total chump change rather easily, considering they were both top prospects at the two most valuable positions in the sport.

Minnesota may have set themselves up for a super-light 2025 NFL Draft, having just their first round pick and 2 fifth round picks (pending compensatory selections), however, it can not be understated how much value the Vikings got out of their first round selections, trade value charts be damned.

The fourth-and-fifth-round selections they sent to the Jets in order to solidify their ability to draft McCarthy mean pretty much nothing after the initial reaction to the trade, wherein that moment you realize that is an astronomically low price to pay for your potential franchise quarterback that we were all mentally prepared to pay at least two first round picks and more for.

Jan 1, 2024; Pasadena, CA, USA; Michigan Wolverines quarterback J.J. McCarthy (9) throws a pass against the Alabama Crimson Tide during the first half in the 2024 Rose Bowl college football playoff semifinal game at Rose Bowl. Mandatory Credit: Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

Additionally, the price for Turner was much more, as Minnesota sent 23, 167, and a 2025 3rd and 4th to move up to 17 to select the Alabama edge rusher. This is a big loss on the trade value charts, and not that “moneyball” general manager that we’ve become accustomed to seeing. However, I don’t really think the front office cares a ton about what a chart says when they trade up for the two most premium positions in the game of football.

Trade charts don’t and can’t account for “well, what if Turner is the next big edge rusher in the NFL?”. They merely cover the trade of intangible draft selections themselves, and are not weighted by the player the picks were used upon because, in fairness, that is rather impossible.

The fact of the matter is, absolutely no one on Earth will care that the Vikings lost the value equivalent to that of an early second round pick if Turner is an absolute superstar. The same goes for McCarthy, and maybe even more so, considering Minnesota just gave up a 4th and 5th rounder while getting a 6th rounder back as well on top of 10th overall.

NFL: NFL Draft
Apr 25, 2024; Detroit, MI, USA; Alabama Crimson Tide linebacker Dallas Turner poses after being selected by the Minnesota Vikings as the No. 17 pick in the first round of the 2024 NFL Draft at Campus Martius Park and Hart Plaza. Mandatory Credit: Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

The Vikings, though we had all prepared for them to give up their first-round picks for the next three years, walked away with their franchise quarterback and franchise edge rusher (both of whom are early favorites for rookie of the year voting) and no trade chart can capture the value that NFL teams hold in that.

The beautiful thing about draft picks is that there is always a way to get more, and they will always keep coming down the road. Not that they should be super reckless with them, but the point remains. Trade value charts be damned, Minnesota walked out with all the value in the first round on Thursday night.