Minnesota had a strange 2020 season.
Despite starting 1-5, the Vikings ended up re-entering the playoff conversation after three consecutive division wins. The team wasn’t able to clinch a postseason berth, though. Minnesota ended up finishing 7-9.
From the perspective of the NFL draft, a 7-9 record can be tough. The Vikings do not have one of the highest picks and they’re not like the Buccaneers or Chiefs — those teams have the bright side of having competed for a Super Bowl.
With the Vikings’ current draft position, it makes sense at this point for the team to try and trade back, especially if they get a good offer. Here are the points to consider:
Minnesota is locked into players at premium positions
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Many of the worst teams in the NFL are looking for a quarterback, wide receiver, cornerback, defensive end or left tackle. When it comes to those positions, Minnesota is pretty locked in to key players, with only a few exceptions. For the Vikings, I think a list of the most glaring weaknesses — taking away the relative value of each NFL position — would probably have guard and three-technique defensive tackle at the top of the list. If Minnesota wants to draft either of those two positions, it might make sense to wait, especially if other teams don't end up reaching for Alabama DT Christian Barmore. Minnesota may have to get Barmore at No. 14, but outside of that, if it's looking for a defensive tackle or guard, it could probably trade back and acquire more picks in the early rounds.
The Vikings don't have a second-round pick
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Minnesota needs the NFL draft to go well for it yet again. That could prove difficult since the Vikings don't have a second-round pick.
Sure, trading back might not land Minnesota a first-round and second-round pick, but it could help the team land more draft choices in earlier rounds. It could be a situation similar to what the Vikings did with the 49ers last draft. Minnesota traded its first-round pick to San Francisco for first-, fourth- and fifth-round choices. You never know, maybe Minnesota ends up getting a first-round and second-round pick from a desperate team.
That could be a necessary move for the Vikings this season, if the team wants a chance at more early-round picks.