The Minnesota Vikings have put out one final siren ahead of draft day that they’re open to trading down from the No. 12 spot in the first round.
Pro Football Focus insider Doug Kyed reported on April 26 that many teams are looking to trade down on Thursday and specifically named the Vikings as a trade-down candidate who looks to accumulate more picks.
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Just two days before the first day of the 2022 NFL Draft, General manager Kwesi Adofo-Mensah addressed the consensus among many teams looking to trade down in a draft that, unlike past years, has few bonafide prospects at premium positions.
Adofo-Mensah Addresses Trade-Down Rumors
In pre-draft press conference, Adofo-Mensah declined to commit their plans to trade down before seeing how the draft board plays out.
However, he did offer insight into draft-day decisions revolving around trading picks and said Minnesota would be prepared.
“I can’t speak for the teams in front of us, but ultimately the draft is an auction — all it takes is one person to see that value,” Adofo-Mensah said regarding trade-down rumors around the league. “All these things that happen beforehand and all these things that get said… there is somebody sitting in a building right now that thinks that player is going to be the next great player. That person might want to trade up for that player, and ultimately, we’ll find that out whenever it happens, and we’ll be ready for it when it does.”
Adofo-Mensah has kept his cards close to his chest throughout the pre-draft process. He declined to comment on the team’s need to find another starting cornerback, ideally through the draft, with the team lacking cap space to sign or trade for a veteran starter.
Cornerback and edge rusher remain the overwhelming consensus positions that the Vikings could use with their first-round pick. Wide receiver has gained steam in free agency as fans hope the offense can carry the team under newly hired head coach Kevin O’Connell, but Adofo-Mensah shared a telling anecdote from a pre-draft meeting that likely puts a first-round receiver out of the question ahead of the draft Thursday night.
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McCardell Gives ‘Impassioned Plea’
Adofo-Mensah entering as general manager this year has introduced an emphasis on bringing analytics into the team’s decision-making along with the old tenants of scouting and interpersonal insight.
Collaboration in using all these different measures of a prospect is what Adofo-Mensah preached when he was hired in February — and McCardell demonstrated that collaborative spirit in a recent meeting, Adofo-Mensah shared.
“We’re at a certain pick, and he gives this impassioned plea to pick a different position than his, and there are some great options that are there at his position, and there’s no words that needed to be said,” Adofo-Mensah said. “Everybody felt the moment. And when you talk about selflessness and team and all those things in that moment, he showed everybody what it was about, and you know that’s the vibe that was in that room. I’m excited. I told them at the end of that meeting ‘We can’t control what happens this weekend, all we can do is prepare like crazy, move as one unit and move together.”