Bad news for those who favor the trade down option for the Vikings in the draft: according to NFL front office people, the trade market right now is basically non-existent.
“It’s completely dead out there this year,” an unnamed NFC North exec told Yahoo!. “Nothing!”
The lockout is partly to blame for the dearth of action, but there’s also a certain lack of separation among this year’s top-tier prospects, which is fueling teams’ reluctance to pursue trades. There are good players to be had high in the draft, but none who leap out to the extent that teams would be scrambling to trade up for them.
As Seattle GM John Schneider put it, “There are going to be some need issues for different teams, but you’re probably not seeing a huge difference in terms of who goes second and who goes sixth.”
(Side note: Loved John Schneider on The Dukes of Hazzard.)
Since there are no teams trying hard to move up, it will be hard for a team like the Vikings to find a partner and swap down.
This will certainly shape the Vikings’ strategy come next Thursday. If they can’t trade down, and are therefore forced to use the #12 pick, they will be less likely to draft for need, and more likely to take the best player available (because, like Rick Spielman has said, they don’t want to reach).
The best player available probably won’t be a quarterback. So don’t hold your breath for the Vikings to get a quarterback in the first round. The best scenario quarterback-wise was to trade down and take one late in the first or early in the second.
Also, without a trade-down, the Vikings won’t be able to get back that third-rounder they gave up for Randy Moss last year. Did I say “they gave up?” I meant “Childress gave up.”
I still think the Vikings will get a quarterback at some point. As it stands now, that QB probably won’t be the much-lusted-after Jake Locker. I also see no way Blaine Gabbert or Cam Newton is still available at 12. Are you ready for the Christian Ponder era?
Were it not for a lockout, maybe there would be more chance for a swap. So the lockout isn’t only a bummer for those who love off-season speculation. It’s also been something of a downer for the teams themselves.
In this time of turmoil and division, there’s one thing we can all agree on: the lockout sucks monkeys.