The Vikings GM’s Hint about a Trade Partner in the 2024 NFL Draft

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Did the Vikings GM’s recent press conference and interview offer a bit of a hint about how a trade could materialize?

Maybe so.

Kwesi Adofo-Mensah was reflecting on the earlier trade with the Texans. The impetus for the response was a question about which side initiated the conversation that involved Minnesota shipping out a pair of 2nd-round selections in exchange for Houston’s 1st (alongside the late-round pick swap). Part of his answer involved noting that some of the NFL’s GMs similarly enjoy exploring possibilities.

The Vikings GM’s Trade Hint

The sense one gets is that Adofo-Mensah will venture into all kinds of ideas. Most fizzle in short order, but some pick up steam and actually get across the finish line.

“We have a lot of just ideas,” the GM explains, “we throw a lot of stuff at the wall here. Obviously, over the last two years, I’m probably one of the GMs who’s always open to picking up the phone and throwing stuff against the wall. And almost none of it comes to the light of day and almost none of it gets past the five-minute phone call.”

Vikings Get a Decent Grade
Dec 24, 2022; Minneapolis, Minnesota, USA; Minnesota Vikings general manager Kwesi Adofo-Mensah looks on before the game against the New York Giants at U.S. Bank Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Matt Krohn-USA TODAY Sports

He goes on: “So I’ve built up some relationships with some people who like throwing ideas around with me. So, those relationships result in deals sometimes.”

Catch the hint?

By his own admission, Kwesi Adofo-Mensah is someone who enjoys journeying into scenarios and possibilities. Flowing from that tendency is a group of GM relationships that sometimes lead to a productive outcome — a trade — rather than the idea dying after mere minutes.

Vikings Had the Worst Draft
Jul 27, 2022; Eagan, MN, USA; Minnesota Vikings general manager Kwesi Adofo-Mensah looks on at TCO Performance Center. Mandatory Credit: Matt Krohn-USA TODAY Sports

The basic takeaway, then, is that looking toward the GM’s past trades may be a clue for what’s to come. Not exactly earth shattering stuff saying that past precedent matters, but don’t miss the insight contained in Adofo-Mensah’s thoughts: he has built up relationships with the GMs who are more willing to explore various ideas.

Now, it’s worth keeping in mind that communicating with the other 31 general managers has never been easier.

In a sitdown with KFAN’s Paul Allen, Adofo-Mensah noted that the league’s GMs “talk all the time” since “it’s a community.” A few minutes later, he explains that there is a “GM text group.” There’s even a shout out for Kansas City’s Brett Veach.

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Apr 29, 2021; Cleveland, Ohio, USA; Christian Darrisaw (Virginia Tech) with NFL commissioner Roger Goodell over video call after being selected by the Minnesota Vikings as the number 23 overall pick in the first round of the 2021 NFL Draft at First Energy Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

So what we have is Adofo-Mensah suggesting that texts and phone calls are common, especially at this time of the year. He’s describing how he’s very willing to explore all kinds of possibilities. Most fascinating is that he has built up a rapport with others who have a similar affinity for jumping into trade scenarios.

Since becoming Minnesota’s GM, Kwesi Adofo-Mensah has orchestrated twenty trades. Some of the more common trade partners have been Houston (X2), Detroit (X2), Indianapolis (X2), Cleveland (X2), and Las Vegas (X3).

Within the NFL Draft’s top 5, the only teams Adofo-Mensah has done a trade with are the New England Patriots (Vederian Lowe deal) and the Arizona Cardinals (Joshua Dobbs deal), teams that currently own picks No. 3 and No. 4. Obviously, that track record doesn’t lock in any outcome, but it’s something to keep in mind.

The 2024 NFL Draft is less than a week away.

K. Joudry is the Senior Editor for Vikings Territory and PurplePTSD. He has been covering the Vikings full time since the summer of 2021. He can be found on Twitter and as a co-host for Notes from the North, a humble Vikings podcast.