Spielman: 4 players in mix at 34, with more deals possible
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EDEN PRAIRIE, Minn. -- The Minnesota Vikings might not be done dealing just yet.
Vice president of player personnel Rick Spielman said there are four candidates for the Vikings' selection at No. 34 -- the second pick in Friday's second round -- and that leaves open the possibility of another deal before the action resumes at 5 p.m.
"The biggest thing out of the whole trade scenario was that you're the second pick in (Friday)'s draft, which is huge," Spielman said. "And then you look at Saturday, and you're going to have the second pick in Satuday's draft. So, coming from the bottom of those rounds to coming up to the top of those rounds, especially when the day kicks off, we're very excited about that, because the way our draft board is developed, we have a lot of options as we go into (Friday), and probably will have a lot going into Saturday as well."
By moving back four spots in a swap with Detroit, who took Cal running back Jahvid Best at No. 30, the Vikings acquired the Lions' second-round pick (No. 34), swapped fourth-rounders (No. 100, up from No. 128) and a seventh-round pick (No. 214) that originally belonged to Cleveland.
Declining to speak specifically on any players -- "We have four guys on top," he said multiple times -- Spielman's account of tonight's events included the following:
* The Vikings made one attempt to move up for a player who eventually was taken by someone else. (The five picks immediately in front of the Vikings were QB Tim Tebow to Denver, DT Dan Williams to Arizona, DB Devin McCourty to New England, DT Jared Odrick to Miami and CB Kyle Wilson to the New York Jets.)
* The phone began ringing heavily around the 20th overall pick, and by the time they did the deal with Detroit, three others teams had called while the Vikings were on the clock.
* A trade was "a big scenario" the Vikings played out entering the day. "We had a player that we would have taken," Spielman said, "but we also had a trade, and we decided to do the trade."
Several highly rated cornerbacks -- including Florida State's Patrick Robinson, who went No. 32 to New Orleans -- remained on the board when the Vikings trade, and Spielman acknowledged Wednesday's signing of veteran cornerback Lito Sheppard "gave us a lot more comfort in not taking a player if we didn't have to. Or if that particular player was not going to be there, we weren't forced to take a pick then. It gave a lot more flexibility on which direction you were going to go."
Spielman suggested multiple times the Vikings could trade down again to accumulate more picks -- they now own nine, including two in the second, fifth and seventh rounds.
Asked if he had any trepidation about trading within the NFC North Division, Spielman said, "No. I think the value of going up and having those slots that we were able to get was very important to us. And I think if there was a player at 30 that we were definitely sold on, that we said there was no way that we'd trade out of this pick to have that player, then we wouldn't have done it."
UPDATE, 10:46 p.m.: The Lions used the 30th overall pick on Cal running back Jahvid Best. Here's what Lions coach Jim Schwartz had to say about the deal, per our pal Kevin Seifert at the ESPN NFC North Blog:
"This was a player that we had a lot of really good feeling for and a guy that we had a plan for exactly how we were going to use him on offense. I was hoping for two things in this draft, one was to get him, I'm talking about Jahvid Best, but if we didn't get him, that he didn't go to Green Bay or Minnesota or Chicago and have to defend against a guy like that. ...
"They helped us out, we helped them out. They moved up in the fourth and picked up an extra seventh-round pick. Everybody has different agendas. I think there is a lot of things where trading a player to a divison, but I'm glad that Minnesota and Green Bay and Chicago (didn't get him). I'm glad we don't have to see this guy twice a year."