Acquire Alex Mack from the Atlanta Falcons
- Alex Mack – C
- 2019 fourth-round pick (118th overall)
- 2019 first-round pick (18th overall)
Given where the Vikings are currently set to make their first selection in the 2019 NFL Draft (18th overall), there is a chance that most of the offensive lineman at the top of their board will already be gone by the time they get their turn to pick.
Even if there is a blocker that Minnesota likes at pick No. 18, there’s also no guarantee that the prospect will turn out to be a good selection (especially with Spielman’s history of drafting offensive linemen). So why not just go ahead and trade for a veteran blocker who has already proven to be one of the best at his position in the NFL over the last few years instead?
Is Alex Mack normally worth a first-round draft pick? No, but the Vikings offering their 2019 first-round selection is likely the only way they will be able to convince the Falcons to trade away their starting center.
Judging by his previous seasons, 2018 was a little bit of a down year for Mack. However, his performance last season was still better than the majority of the other centers around the league (Pro Football Focus’ third-ranked center of 2018).
Minnesota would not only be upgrading their talent level on the offensive line by acquiring the 33-year-old center, but he would also add a veteran presence to the position group that would be extremely valuable for the progression of the team’s young blockers.
Mack has two years remaining on his current contract and the Vikings would likely have to use one of their salary cap magic tricks to make the deal work. But releasing him in 2020 only results in a cap hit of around $2.5 million, so the risk in acquiring the veteran center doesn’t appear to be too high for Minnesota.
With the addition of Mack to their offensive line, Minnesota can shift Pat Elflein over to be their starting left guard next season and fill the hole that they currently have at that spot. Elflein spent time as a guard during his days at Ohio State, so it wouldn’t be a hard position switch for him to make.
Considering how much value a first-round pick carries, the Vikings should also be able to convince Atlanta to part ways with a fourth-round selection in the trade, especially since they have two of them this year.
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