NFL Draft 2012: Reasonable Trade Scenarios for the Minnesota Vikings

Matt KasperCorrespondent IIApril 25, 2012

NFL Draft 2012: Reasonable Trade Scenarios for the Minnesota Vikings

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    With the third overall pick in the 2012 NFL draft, the Minnesota Vikings have the first selection that has not already been fully determined. The Indianapolis Colts have now publicly stated that they will be selecting quarterback Andrew Luck with the first overall selection, and there is no doubt that the Washington Redskins will be selecting quarterback Robert Griffin III with the second selection.

    Therefore, if any team is looking to move up and guarantee that they get who they want, then the Vikings are the team to call. Vikings GM Rick Spielman has stated that he has been getting phone calls from teams looking to move up and he appears very open to a trade.

    With the Vikings in full rebuilding mode, adding as many draft picks as possible would be a great way to help that process.

    Spielman has stated that the Vikings rate OT Matt Kalil, WR Justin Blackmon and CB Morris Claiborne evenly and would be more than happy to add any of them to the team. Assuming this is true—though it's likely just a somewhat laughable smokescreen—then it would make sense for the Vikings to drop back a few picks, get one of these three players, and also add another pick or two later in the draft.

    In the following slideshow, I'll go through the rest of the teams in the top 10 of the draft and the likelihood of them trading up for the Vikings' pick along with what it would likely cost.

No. 4 Overall: Cleveland Browns

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    Hey, anyone remember who that guy in the picture is? No, he's not a CIA operative, he's running back Peyton Hillis, a player that the Browns thought would be a star but flopped last season and is now in Kansas City.

    The Browns are in desperate need for a running back along with a need for a dependable target at wide receiver for Colt McCoy. Oh, and there's a possibility that they want to replace McCoy at quarterback.

    Right now it seems as though they are set on taking running back Trent Richardson at No. 4, but there is a possibility that the Tampa Bay Buccaneers may move up to take him, so there is a possibility that the Browns move up to No. 3 to make sure that they can get him.

    However, as the Browns are also looking at adding a wide receiver, they may be fine with letting that happen and settling on Justin Blackmon at No. 4. Additionally, the Browns also may be able to drop down a few spots if someone were to want to draft quarterback Ryan Tannehill.

    What it would cost to move to No. 3: Depending on how many other teams are in the bidding for the spot, it could cost as much as the Browns' second-round pick, or as little as their third-round pick. Per the NFL Draft Value Chart, there is a 400-point difference between the No. 3 and 4 selections.

    Going by the exact numbers, an even trade would break down like this: Vikings trade Nos. 3, 99 and 128 (2348 points) for the Browns' Nos. 4 and 36 (2340 points).

    Likelihood of trade: slim. Browns would really like Richardson, but I don't think they like him enough to move up one spot when they could settle for Blackmon or even a trade down themselves.

No. 5 Overall: Tampa Bay Buccaneers

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    The Tampa Bay Buccaneers are in a good position. Sitting at No. 5 overall, they have many options on what to do, and if they do nothing, they know that one of the top players will be available at their pick.

    The Bucs have a few needs. Offensively, they are pretty well set at quarterback and wide receiver, however the offense does need a more consistent running game.

    LeGarrette Blount is a talented back, but he struggled with ball control and injuries last season. New head coach Greg Schiano (pictured) covets talented running backs and would love to add Trent Richardson into the mix.

    The Bucs would also be happy if cornerback Morris Claiborne were to fall to them. Ronde Barber has been holding down half the field for Tampa since 1998, but the 37-year-old is slowing with age and rumors persist that Barber will be moved to safety this season.

    With this, the Bucs would look to add Claiborne and hope he can step into Barber's role.

    If Claiborne and Richardson were selected, the Bucs wouldn't exactly be devastated to pick up Kalil or Blackmon at No. 5.

    What it would take to move to No. 3: High end, it could cost their second-round pick and a third-round pick, or as little as a third-round pick and a later-rounder as well depending on demand.

    Per the value chart, an even trade would be as follows: Vikings' Nos. 3 and 175 (2225 points) for Bucs' Nos. 5 and 37 (2230 points).

    Chances that they move to No. 3: Fair. They seem to really like Richardson and would be willing to part with some later picks to secure him. It's unlikely that the Browns would pass on Richardson and also unlikely that the Browns would trade with Tampa for the spot.

    The Bucs struggled last season, but the core of the team is solid and they don't feel like they need to add a ton from this season's draft to be successful going forward.

No. 6 Overall: St. Louis Rams

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    Talk about a haul. The St. Louis Rams traded down four spots with the Washington Redskins and in the process got the Nos. 6 and 39 picks this year, along with the Redskins' first-round picks in 2013 and 2014. With this ammunition, the Rams would easily be able to move back up if they so desired.

    The Rams have quite a few needs on the team, and the haul that they received for the No. 2 pick will go a long way in the rebuilding process. Like the Bucs, if they don't move up, then they would be able to pick up whichever one of their top targets that is still there at No. 6.

    The Rams would benefit greatly from any of the elite prospects in the draft this year; Kalil, Blackmon and Claiborne would all improve positions of need for the Rams. With Steven Jackson reaching the age where running backs start to deteriorate, Trent Richardson could also be a target if he falls to them.

    The Rams could be interested in moving up to secure Blackmon to give Sam Bradford a good target, though it would appear that Blackmon may be available at No. 6 anyway, as none of the teams in the top five appear very interested in him. However, there are some teams behind the Rams that could be interested, so the Rams may find it necessary to move up and secure the pick.

    The Rams may be open to trading back again and securing even more picks if someone wants to move up and secure the elite prospect that falls to No. 6. The Rams have a lot of holes and would benefit greatly from more picks, even if it costs them one of the elite players this season.

    What it would take to move to No. 3: High end, it could cost this year's No. 6 pick and one of their future first-rounders; low end would be the No. 6 and one of their second-rounders. Per the value chart, even trades would look like this: Vikings' No. 3 (2200 points) for Rams' Nos. 6 and 33 (2180 points) or 6, 39 and 96 (2226 points).

    Chances that they move to No. 3: Slim. They would likely be fine staying at No. 6 and picking up whoever falls to them or even trading back again. If they are going to move up, it would more likely be to the Browns at No. 4, as it would cost less and they'll still be able to get Blackmon there.

No. 7 Overall: Jacksonville Jaguars

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    The Jacksonville Jaguars would be unlikely to move up to No. 3. They have too many holes to fill on their roster and none of the top five players in the draft are worth the price it would take to move up. The more likely scenario for Jacksonville is to hope that one of the top players makes it through or for them to trade back and pick up some extra picks.

    They hold a valuable spot in front of the Miami Dolphins and may be able to get one of the teams coveting quarterback Ryan Tannehill to trade with them.

    Cost to move up to No. 3: Per the value chart, an even trade would be: Vikings' Nos. 3 and 128 (2248 points) for the Jaguars' Nos. 7, 38 and 70 (2260 points).

    Chances of them moving up to No. 3: Nearly zero. With the amount of rebuilding they have to do, giving up their first three picks for the No. 3 is very unlikely.

No. 8 Overall: Miami Dolphins

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    The Miami Dolphins are probably the last team that would realistically move up to No. 3. They are in desperate need of a quarterback and new offensive coordinator Mike Sherman coached Ryan Tannehill in college. 

    The question is, do the Dolphins think that there is enough of a chance of Cleveland taking Tannehill at No. 4 that they would trade up to No. 3 to secure the spot?

    It would have to be a blockbuster of a trade. At No. 8, there are a few other options that would help the Dolphins. WR Michael Floyd would certainly help whichever quarterback is the starter next season, OT Riley Reiff would complement Jake Long on the offensive line and any number of the top defensive players would help tremendously.

    What it would cost to move to No. 3: A lot. They'd likely be looking at adding next year's first-round pick along with the No. 8 selection this season. For this year's picks only, the value chart would show an even trade of the Vikings No. 3 (2200 points) for the Dolphins' Nos. 8, 42, 72 and 103 (2198 points).

    Again, this kind of a trade would more likely be just the No. 8 this year and next year's first-round pick rather than a second-, third- and fourth-round pick this year.

    Chances of them moving up to No. 3: Slim but possible. It would be quite a blockbuster and there is a pretty good chance that Tannehill will go to No. 8 anyways, but anything is possible.

    The Vikings probably don't really want to go down this far, but they may be able to trade down to No. 8 and then use what they gain from that trade and then move back up into the top six. It would certainly make for an entertaining show on draft night.

Anyone Else?

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    After the Dolphins at No. 8, it would seem very unlikely that any other team would move all the way up to No. 3.

    No. 9 Carolina Panthers: They need a cornerback, but Claiborne isn't worth what it would take to get to No. 3. Same with Blackmon at wide receiver and Kalil at offensive tackle. If they move up, it wouldn't be to No. 3.

    No. 10 Buffalo Bills: Same as Carolina; they would love the elite players, but it's not worth moving up for them. They need an offensive tackle and another wide receiver, but the second tier of Reiff and WR Michael Floyd are good enough that it wouldn't be worth trading up.

    No. 11 Kansas City Chiefs: They appear very set at their pick. It looks like LB Luke Kuechly should make it to their spot and they would be all over him at their selection.

    No. 12 Seattle Seahawks: While they were a popular trade rumor target after the season to trade up for a shot at one of the quarterbacks in the draft, they acquired Matt Flynn instead and appear set at the position.