Taking advantage of the 12th draft slot could accelerate the rise of the Vikings

April 26, 2018; Arlington, Texas, USA; Dallas Cowboys on the clock in the first round of the 2018 NFL Draft at AT&T Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Tim Heitman-USA TODAY Sports

Obviously, most of the attention lately has been on what everyone’s favorite purple team at GM and HC will do. Gone are Rick Spielman and Mike Zimmer; who replaces them is anyone’s guess (I guess Spytek and Leftwich). These two decisions will be the most important of the season, as it is these two that will give the franchise a new direction and identity. However, one thing that has been overlooked a bit recently is how the draft will play into it. The Vikings pick No. 12, a spot that may end up serving as a critical turning point in the draft.

The 12th choice of the Vikings and a brief history lesson

Last season’s 12th pick did reasonably well. Micah Parsons has been an absolute terror in his rookie season. The so-called middle linebacker has always been lined up along the edge, giving Dallas another defensive weapon for offenses to worry about. It’s a 99.99% certainty that he wins Defensive Rookie of the Year.

Not all rookies can match Parsons. There has been legitimate talk of him being in contention for Defensive Player of the Year, so it’s safe to say the youngster has been sensational on the field.

What’s easy to forget about that pick, though, is that it didn’t originally belong to Dallas. In fact, the 12th place changed hands several times. The 49ers traded for third place overall with Miami. To do so, they had to give up the 12th pick, the first pick of 2022, the third pick of 2022 and the first pick of 2023. There’s almost no chance the Vikings will follow this strategy with the 12th pick.

Shortly after, the Dolphins traded their recently acquired 12th pick to Philadelphia. Miami got the No. 6 pick and the 156th pick in exchange for the 12th pick, a fourth in 2021 and the first in 2022. Again, a huge price, one Minnesota would hesitate to pay.

However, what is interesting is that there was another exchange not long after. Philadelphia traded with Dallas to get to No. 10. The cost was a third round in that draft. So not insignificant, but not massive in the future first(s) either. If the Vikings are in love with someone who is falling down the board but unlikely to make it to 12, a move can be made for a price that isn’t totally exhausting.

Another critical factor

Of course, the Vikings are not fated to change. They could very reasonably trade down.

One thing that makes the possibility even more plausible is the mere fact that it’s close to the Top 10. If a team is convinced that a bona fide top-tier player has slipped across the board, they might be inclined to jump. to make sure you hook your man. . Additionally, it’s also notable that there doesn’t seem to be a consensus, infallible QB toward the top. In the past, we’ve seen several quarterbacks break into the top 10 picks. We may not see any go that high this year.

That said, it’s entirely possible there could be a quarterback streak during adolescence. Not that position is any less important. If a team that picks lower down the board thinks it could turn someone like Matt Corral into a legitimate QB1, maybe they’ll make the trade. Last year, the Bears jumped to 11th place for Justin Fields. It cost them the 20th pick, a fifth, a 2022 first and a 2022 fourth. In other words, it can be lucrative for a team to be at a transition point in the draft.

Of course, the Vikings can stay where they are. A player with the Micah Parsons ability can instantly rejuvenate a defense. Perhaps the Vikings will find someone who can instantly contribute massively. Until the selection is made, expect a lot of speculation.

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