Rick Spielman says Vikings open to trading down, unlikely to trade up
EDEN PRAIRIE, Minn. -- Even Rick Spielman admits nobody should trust anything he says two days before the NFL Draft begins.
But the Minnesota Vikings' general manager insisted on Tuesday he has received more calls than usual about trading back in the draft -- and that he's willing to listen.
"The phone has been -- and whether you believe me or not, but I'm telling you -- it's been the most active it's been in a while because of where we've been picking," Spielman said during his annual pre-draft media conference at Winter Park.
"And I don't know the reason why, but there are a lot of teams that are jockeying from the top of that second round. There's some teams jockeying potentially in the bottom of the first round to come up to one of our picks at 23 or 25 (overall).
"That's something that we're going to be very open to, because I think if we decide to go ahead and trade back in this draft, because of the depth at the positions of need that we have, we can still get a very similar player and potentially pick up some things either this year or next year."
Spielman downplayed the possibility the Vikings could package some of their 11 total picks -- including two in the first and fourth rounds and three in the seventh -- to trade up in the first round, as at least one report has indicated they're interested in doing.
"I don't see us right now looking to move up in the first round," Spielman said. "But that could change."
He repeatedly pointed out the Vikings could use help at numerous positions as they try to improve on last season's 10-6 finish and need all the resources they can get to do so.
Middle linebacker, defensive tackle, cornerback and receiver top the list. But potential free-agent situations at defensive end and guard, among other positions, could raise the importance of those as well.
"I think this is going to be one of most intriguing drafts I've been associated with because of the depth of the draft," Spielman said.
"And to be honest with you, where we're picking at 23 and 25, we're looking at all our needs, from the whole defensive side of the ball to needs on the offensive side of the ball, trying to distinguish what makes this potential receiver better than this corner, better than this linebacker, better than this defensive end, better than this defensive tackle.
"A lot of it will be predicated on what happens with the quarterbacks. We've prepared ourself -- what if there's no quarterbacks taken before we pick and what kind of scenario could we be facing?"
Spielman met with the Vikings' coaches and scouts for 4 hours again on Tuesday morning, "hammering through different scenarios, different hotspots, not only in the first round (but) potential things we can do throughout the draft. Just looking at their faces right now, you can tell everyone's just tired of me -- tired of me asking questions, tired of me asking questions not for the first time but probably for the 500th time."
The Vikings usually set their final draft board by Wednesday night, allowing Spielman and company to catch their breath before the first pick is made a little after 7 p.m. Thursday.