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It is widely believed that the Minnesota Vikings will not be trading up in this month’s NFL Draft, at least not in the first round. The history of Rick Spielman suggests the opposite, and the Vikings’ needs do as well. However, with Minnesota’s struggles on the offensive line, and the potential of this being both Spielman and Mike Zimmer’s final season if things do not turn around, an unexpected hail mary move may be in play. 

Penei Sewell is unquestionably the top offensive tackle in this draft. The Vikings have time and time again had one of the worst pass protections in the league, and it was no different in 2020. Their o-line allowed the worst pressure rate of any team last year, per Pro-Football-Reference, as Kirk Cousins was pressured on 30.2% of his dropbacks. Drafting Sewell to play opposite Brian O’Neill, who was PFF’s 24th ranked tackle last year, would greatly help this o-line. 

It’s seemed like a pipe dream for a long time, but the Vikings’ chance to move up and get him may have manifested itself. Both the Atlanta Falcons and Detroit Lions have apparently shown some interest in trading down in the first round. Atlanta currently owns the fourth pick, and Detroit has the seventh. This year seems to be pointing to quarterbacks going in the top three, with the draft truly beginning at number four. Should the Vikings trade up to four, they would have a great shot at snagging Sewell. 

Of course, Minnesota would have to give up a ton in order to move from fourteen to four. San Francisco gave up No. 12, their compensatory third rounder, and two future firsts to move up to No. 3. Minnesota would more than likely have to give up 14, one of their third rounders, and at least one future first in order to get to number four while possibly being forced to include another future Day Two pick. 

While this is a lot, there is one thing to keep in mind regardless of Spielman’s history. If he has in fact gotten any hint that 2021 may be his final season running the Vikings if things don’t turn around, future picks would mean very little to him. Besides, with the Vikings suring up their defense through free agency, what is the point of sitting on these draft assets? They can be used to pick up a generational talent to protect Minnesota’s QB for the next 10 years, and that should be more valuable than anything. 

Of course, while the door may have been opened to a trade up, it is only open by an inch. If Atlanta or Detroit do want to trade down, there are obviously multiple suitors getting in touch with them. The picks aren’t Minnesota’s for the taking, but the team should at least be reaching out. Whenever you can find a surefire way to protect your QB, you take it. There is a ton of uncertainty as to what will happen after the first couple picks. If the Vikings don’t take a chance, they could miss out on the opportunity to fill one of their biggest needs.

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Paul Griggs
Paul Griggs
13 days ago

If Sewell somehow slipped to #9, I’d try trading up for him but I’d be pleased getting an OL in the first round. Slater, Darrishaw, -Tucker, etc. look like starters.

Michael
Michael
Reply to  Paul Griggs
13 days ago

No way Sewell slips to #9… and no way the Vikings trade up. Spielman and Zimmer are not smart enough to do something like this, because they are out to prove they are smarter than the rest of the league and can win the “Zim” way. Cannot wait to get a new GM and head coach next year.

Greg
Greg
Reply to  Michael
13 days ago

I think Rick does a pretty solid job drafting players and if we have the chance to trade up with Detroit I think we should hopefully to land the OT Sewell at 7 and if he isnt there take the Qb Lance at 7 I think Lance is a great pick he is from Minnesota and he has a very high ceiling

David
David
Reply to  Paul Griggs
12 days ago

Trading up to 4 for a LT is not going to happen. Only way you move that much capital is for a QB. This draft is loaded with good OL, but none of them are listed as Great! Sewell is not Orlando Pace.