5 things the new Vikings GM needs to do differently than Rick Spielman

(Photo by Harrison Barden-USA TODAY Sports) Rick Spielman
(Photo by Harrison Barden-USA TODAY Sports) Rick Spielman /
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Minnesota Vikings
(Photo by Abbie Parr/Getty Images) Yannick Ngakoue – Minnesota Vikings /

No more panic trades

Rick Spielman was usually pretty stingy when it came to his draft picks. He didn’t like to trade many of them on draft day and was more likely to acquire additional picks than to give them up to move up the board or to acquire a player.

Where he was a little too loose with his choices was when he panicked. We saw it three times in his tenure. A player gets hurt in the preseason and Spielman is quick to send a high draft pick to find a replacement.

It happened when Teddy Bridgewater went down in 2016 and he sent a first-round pick to the Eagles for Sam Bradford. He did it again in 2020, giving up a second-round choice to acquire Yannick Ngakoue from the Jaguars when Danielle Hunter was lost in the preseason. Slick Rick panicked again in 2021 when Irv Smith Jr. was lost for the year in the final preseason game and gave up a fourth-round pick to acquire Chris Herndon.

The problem with these moves is they didn’t do anything to help the Vikings. Bradford’s team missed the playoffs, the Vikings were 1-5 with Ngakoue and then traded him, and Herndon was barely used, and the Vikings got more run from street-free agents like Luke Stocker.

Let’s hope Kwesi Adofo-Mensah nixes this trend. He needs to believe in the players on his roster, and go with the next-man-up philosophy when a star player gets hurt.

Instead of mortgaging the future for a player who may not have the impact envisioned, Adofo-Mensah should trust the talent he has and go with them, saving his future draft picks.