Over the last 2 months the Vikings have known that they would be sitting pretty near the top of the draft board. General Manager Rick Spielman has talked at length of how he’s wanted to trade down from the #3 spot acquiring more picks with hopes of still landing a playmaker in the 1st round. It got so bad that Spielman should have nearly hung a sign on the back of his suit saying “Open For Business” at the combine, but Jeremy Fowler of the St Paul Pioneer Press has reported that the St. Louis Rams are getting all of the attention at the #2 spot with teams wanting to trade up for Baylor phenom Robert Griffin III (or RG3 as he so affectionally been known) leaving the Vikings phone as stale as Donovan McNabb’s.
Earlier this month Mark Craig of the Star Tribune wrote a column on how the Vikings would be the more likely trade partner than the Rams. With all due respect to Craig, that’s moronic. There is absolutely no way teams will work in unison to trade with the solely trade with Vikings leaving the Rams to sit on their pick until their draft time expires. Craig also references the NFL Draft Value Chart, which has now become outdated with a new CBA. The original chart was developed by Jimmy Johnson in his heydays coaching the Dallas Cowboys, which tailored to the amount of money rookies were paid. In the 1990s there was a rookie wage scale in place giving the top handful of picks a tremendous amount of money compared to later first round picks. Now there is a new CBA in place that pays nearly all first rounders a comparable amount. Teams are now widely expected to take that Draft Value Chart and throw it right into the trash can in the event they want to move up for a specific player or down to acquire more picks. Not to mention, teams will be competing for RG3 on the Rams pick and all it takes are two to get into a bidding war driving the price for the pick through the roof.
So where does this leave us Vikings? The same place we were two days ago. Looking at Stanford’s Andrew Luck & RG3 off the board with the Vikings set to pick USC’s Matt Kalil or trade the pick down (provided anyone is interested) knowing beforehand that finding a left tackle is one of their greatest needs. And that, frankly, is okay.
Jon Merckle may be followed on Twitter @thevikingpig