4 ways being in win-now mode changes the Vikings 2021 draft approach
By Nik Edlund
Increased potential to trade a pick for a player
The Vikings have to win next season or they’re probably going to be looking for a new head coach in 2022, and possibly a new general manager as well.
To avoid this from happening, Minnesota is going to be looking to draft players who can help them right away. There’s also an increased chance they will be more willing to trade draft selections for established veterans too.
We see veteran players get traded during the draft every year and many times, these deals happen on the third day. In recent offseasons, we’ve seen guys like Trent Williams and Matt Breida get dealt.
Other times, players are thrown in if a team is moving way up the board to make a blockbuster type of deal. If the Vikings feel their best chance to improve a certain position group for the immediate future is to trade draft picks for a veteran, then that’s the approach they should take.
This could especially work in Minnesota’s search for a starting guard. The Vikings have really struggled to find help for the interior of their offensive line in the draft. Garrett Bradbury has been so-so, Pat Elflein flamed out, and Dru Samia also appears to be a big miss. The jury is still out on Ezra Cleveland, but the track record isn’t great.
If Minnesota sees a team draft a guard early this year and that team already has a solid veteran at that spot, they should be calling to swing a deal to get that beefy blocker in purple.
This strategy could also help the Vikings find a new backup quarterback this year. If Minnesota is truly wanting to put a team together that’ll save jobs and make a deep playoff run, they should upgrade every position they can, including the No. 2 spot on their quarterback depth chart.
Sean Mannion isn’t going to win any games if Kirk Cousins goes down with an injury, but a guy like Gardner Minshew could. The Jacksonville Jaguars are going to take Trevor Lawrence with the first pick in this year’s draft and they already have Jake Luton on the roster. So Minshew will be expendable.
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If the Vikings can land him for a fifth-round pick or so, that’d give them a major upgrade behind Cousins for the 2021 season and he would someone who has some potential to develop into their starting signal-caller down the road.