By: Aj Mansour | KFAN.com
Minneapolis, MN - Already armed with eleven picks in the 2013 NFL Draft, the Minnesota Vikings fully expect to be active in the trade market on draft night. Tuesday afternoon, Vikings general manager Rick Spielman met with the media and admitted that accumulating value (no matter what form that comes in) is of the utmost importance to the Vikings immediate and long-term future.
"As we go through this draft, don't be surprised if we accumulate more [picks]," Spielman said. "If I think we can move down to 'X' spot in the first round and still get the same quality of player and accumulate another pick for next year, we'll definitely be looking to do that."
Spielman went on to credit the depth of this year's draft and the Vikings positioning at picks 23 and 25 as the reason why he expects there to be a large amount of movement throughout the first few rounds.
"Whether you believe me or not, I'm telling you [the phone has] been the most active it's been in a while because of where we're picking," Spielman explained. "There are a lot of teams potentially jockeying from the top of that second round. There's some teams jockeying potentially in the bottom of the first round to come up to one of our picks at 23 or 25. That's something that we're going to be very open to because I think if we decide to go ahead and trade back in this draft. Because of the depth at the positions of need that we have, we can still get a very similar player and potentially pick up some [picks] either this year or next year."
For the Vikings, one of the key positions to watch during Thursday's first round is quarterback. While this isn't a draft class littered with top prospect quarterbacks, there are still teams who are in need of making some sort of change behind center. Prospects like Geno Smith, Ryan Nassib and Matt Barkley are projected to be chosen anywhere between the fourth overall selection and as late as the second round. If one of those quarterbacks were to begin to slide (a la Aaron Rodgers in 2005 or Brady Quinn in 2007), look for a team like Buffalo, Philadelphia or Jacksonville to swoop into the backside of the first round and ship a few picks over in the direction of Minnesota.
"We've prepared ourselves for what if they're no quarterbacks taken before our pick and what kind of scenario we could be facing," Spielman said. "I think that this is going to be one of the most intriguing drafts that I'm going to be associated with."
As much as we want to speculate and try our best to predict where and who the Vikings will end up drafting on Thursday night, most of what Minnesota ends up doing is going to be predicated on what happens during the first twenty-two picks of the draft. If both Ogletree and Te'o are available at 23, the Vikings may trade back and accumulate future picks. If a certain player who they have targeted falls into the late teens, the Vikings may even end up trading up to snatch them up. The possible scenarios are endless, and that ladies and gentlemen, is why we love the NFL Draft so very much.