Realistic Trade-Down Possibilities for the Minnesota Vikings

Matthew Stensrud@@MattStensrudContributor IIIMay 2, 2014

Realistic Trade-Down Possibilities for the Minnesota Vikings

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    The Minnesota Vikings hold the No. 8 overall pick in next week's 2014 NFL draft, an uncertain position for an organization with several needs on its roster.

    Although the quarterback position stands out as a glaring hole, drafting one at No. 8 may not provide value, depending on who is available.

    In addition, outside of drafting Buffalo linebacker prospect Khalil Mack, the Vikings are in an uncomfortable position if defense is the primary focus early in the first round.

    With that said, Minnesota may be best served trading down from the eighth overall selection in order to accumulate draft picks for movement in later rounds.

    General manager Rick Spielman made such a move in 2012, when he traded out of the No. 3 overall spot, moving down just one selection by "partnering" with the Cleveland Browns.

    The Vikings received the Browns' first-, fourth-, fifth- and seventh-round selections in that year's draft.

    This allowed Spielman to draft offensive tackle Matt Kalil, the primary target all along, and provided sufficient cushion to move back into the first round to draft safety Harrison Smith.

    Let's take a look at some potential—and realistic—trade possibilities for the Vikings to acquire draft picks by moving down in the first round.


    The NFL Draft Trade Chart was considered for each trade scenario, via ProFootballTalk.

Trade Down for ILB C.J. Mosley, Alabama

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    Vikings trade No. 8 pick to the Arizona Cardinals for picks No. 20, 52 and 84.

    Needing a linebacker with Mack already off the board, the Vikings can target an excellent second option with C.J. Mosley.

    The Cardinals are in need of a quarterback and may decide to move up with Spielman threatening to select their top player.

Trade Down for CB Justin Gilbert, Oklahoma State

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    Vikings trade No. 8 pick to the New York Jets for picks No, 18, 49 and 115.

    The Jets need a game-changing wide receiver and with the Detroit Lions looming at No. 10, general manager John Idzik and Rex Ryan may need to play leapfrog in order to grab their preferred target.

    The Vikings can take advantage of this scenario by swapping out of their current position, while acquiring extra picks in the second and fourth rounds. They could then still select one of the top cornerbacks in this year's class with Justin Gilbert. 

Trade Down for QB Derek Carr, Fresno State

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    Vikings trade No. 8 pick to the Cleveland Browns for picks No. 26, 35 and 106. 

    After being fleeced by Spielman and the Vikings in 2012, Cleveland may be looking to exact revenge and look like a genius coming out of the first round of this year's draft. Hard to imagine, I know.

    The Browns already hold the fourth overall pick, so this trade would make for two selections in the top 10.

    Can you imagine if Cleveland lands Sammy Watkins and Johnny Manziel?

    For the Vikings, although they may be gun shy to select quarterback at No. 8, grabbing Derek Carr and his big arm at No. 26 would be good value, especially for new offensive coordinator Norv Turner's system.

Trade Down for CB Darqueze Dennard, Michigan State

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    Vikings trade No. 8 pick to the Dallas Cowboys for picks No. 16, 78 and 158.

    The Cowboys are in major need of defensive line help and defensive tackle Aaron Donald out of Pittsburgh should be a top priority.

    However, staying put at 16th overall would likely allow Donald to come off the board, something that Jerry Jones may not want to chance.

    The Vikings can reap the benefits of Dallas' impatience and still come away with cornerback prospect Darqueze Dennard.

    It doesn't quite make up for the Herschel Walker trade, but hey, they're trying.


    Matthew Stensrud is a Featured Columnist for Bleacher Report. You can follow him on Twitter and Google+