Rick Spielman, general manager of the Minnesota Vikings, seems to prefer rebuilding the team through the draft as opposed to signing big-name free agents. Since being named the vice president of player personnel for the Vikings in 2006, Spielman has been involved with seven drafts—in five of them the Vikings gained an extra draft pick. Over the last four drafts, the Vikings have averaged 9.25 picks—two more than than the seven each team starts with.
This week in a story from the Star Tribune, Spielman indicated that the team's goal is to obtain at least 10 draft picks each year. Imagine how much he would have loved the Vikings' first five seasons when the draft lasted 20 rounds. Even when the NFL draft dropped to only 12 rounds from 1977 to 1992, Spielman would have enjoyed wheeling and dealing to pick up a couple extra picks in the 10th round.
Heading into the 2014 NFL draft, the Vikings already have picked up an extra pick. They received Seattle's third-round pick to complete the trade for Percy Harvin. That means Spielman is looking to add another two selections.
The best chance for the Vikings to gain an extra pick in the draft, would be to exchange their eighth pick in the first round with another team and gain a pick later in the draft. This would solve the problem of reaching for a player too soon with higher-ranked players still on the board.
According to the latest mock draft from Walter Football, as in almost every mock draft, quarterbacks Teddy Bridgewater, Johnny Manziel and Blake Bortles are all off the board by the time the Minnesota Vikings are on the clock.
That puts the Vikings in a similar position as in 2011, when they selected quarterback Christian Ponder with the 12th pick. The results since that draft appear to support the premise that the Vikings reached with that pick. Interestingly, Walter Football's mock draft does not have the Vikings selecting quarterback Derek Carr from Fresno State—or any other team in the first round for that matter.
That gives the Vikings plenty of options to move down and gain an extra pick. Here's a look at what options the Vikings might have by swapping the eighth pick in the draft with some of the teams below them in the first round.