Minnesota Vikings: Why a Draft Day Trade with St. Louis Is the Move to Make

Travis WakemanCorrespondent IIJanuary 30, 2014

St. Louis Rams general manager Les Snead speaks about the Rams' prospects in the upcoming NFL football draft on Wednesday, April 25, 2012, at the teams' training facility in St. Louis. (AP Photo/Jeff Roberson)
Jeff Roberson/Associated Press

The Minnesota Vikings currently hold the No. 8 overall pick in the 2014 draft. The problem is, that will likely be too late to get one of the top three quarterbacks in this draft.

Several teams in dire need of a quarterback sit ahead of the Vikings, including Houston, Jacksonville, Cleveland and Oakland.

Teddy Bridgewater, Blake Bortles and Johnny Manziel will almost certainly be swiped up by that group of teams. Because of this, a trade should be on the mind of Minnesota general manager Rick Spielman.

The St. Louis Rams sit at No. 2 in the first round by virtue of the deal they worked in 2012 with the Washington Redskins. That trade allowed Washington to select Robert Griffin III with the second overall pick.

If the Vikings were able to move to No. 2, they would likely have their pick of at least two of the aforementioned quarterbacks, since Houston will likely select one of them with the first overall choice.

The trade would make sense for St. Louis as well. Sure, they could select Jadeveon Clowney out of South Carolina, but they already have Robert Quinn and Chris Long—two very good defensive ends.

Trading the second pick to Minnesota would allow the Rams to stockpile picks, depending on how many they wanted the Vikings to give up. On top of that, they would only drop to No. 8, where they could still get a very good player in the first round, perhaps the one they want in the first place.

The deal makes sense for both teams, but that doesn't make it a guarantee that we will see a trade occur. The Vikings could consider a few alternatives.

They could stay the course and roll with Matt Cassel or Christian Ponder as their starting quarterback next season. Of course, they'd likely find the same success as they did this past season.

They could offer a contract to a free agent like Michael Vick, but he would only be a stopgap until the team drafted a quarterback next season.

Another option would be to wait until a later round and draft a player like A.J. McCarron or Jimmy Garoppolo. This wouldn't be a horrible decision, but neither of them are as talented as Manziel, Bortles or Bridgewater.

Finally, they could stay at No. 8 and draft Derek Carr out of Fresno State. Carr went 7-of-12 for 45 yards and a touchdown in limited action in the Senior Bowl.

Still, the decision the organization should make is to trade with St. Louis.

The Vikings are in need of rejuvenation. They have a new head coach who has been a very successful defensive coordinator in the league. They have Adrian Peterson. What are they missing?

One of the things they are missing is a player that can complement Peterson. Bringing in a franchise quarterback could make Peterson even more valuable.

Each of the top three quarterbacks should be day one starters in the NFL.

Bridgewater is a mobile quarterback who appears to be able to make all the throws. He is accurate and makes good decisions with the ball. His skill set should translate well to the NFL.

Bortles seemingly came out of nowhere at Central Florida, but just ask Baylor how good he is.

In the Fiesta Bowl on January 1, Bortles accounted for four touchdowns while throwing for 301 yards and running for 93 more.

At 6'4" and 229 pounds, he has drawn comparisons to Pittsburgh's Ben Roethlisberger due to his scrambling abilities and will almost certainly be selected in the top five.

As for Manziel, the former Heisman Trophy winner is the wild card in the draft.

At just 6'1" and a little over 200 pounds, durability will always be a concern with Manziel. However, as evidenced in Texas A&M's bowl game win over Duke, he can make plays very few quarterbacks that have ever played will make.

Manziel would be the most exciting player for the Vikings to select, but any of the three could be the start of something special.

The opportunity for the Vikings to give the entire organization a shot in the arm is there. It starts with a phone call to St. Louis.