EAGAN, Minn. — Vikings General Manager Kwesi Adofo-Mensah didn't tip his hand Tuesday morning as to which position or player he has in mind with the 12th overall pick.
Two days ahead of the 2022 NFL Draft's opening night, Adofo-Mensah and the rest of Minnesota's front office truthfully don't know who will be available that at spot.
Instead, they are keeping their options open, and have played through numerous scenarios of how the first round may shake out Thursday night.
How flexible are the Vikings at this moment?
Adofo-Mensah relayed a story from a Monday meeting that highlighted Vikings wide receivers coach Keenan McCardell and exemplified the Vikings current thought process.
"We were doing a draft exercise yesterday. And I only want to tell this story because I think it's illustrative of what we're building here," Adofo-Mensah said. "Coach McCardell raises his hand, and we're at a certain pick, and he gives this impassioned plea to pick a different position than his. And there's some great options that are there at his position.
"There are no words that were needed to be said. Everybody felt the moment. When you talk about selflessness and team, and all of those things, in that moment, he showed everybody what it was about," Adofo-Mensah continued. "That's the vibe that was in that room and that place.
"So, 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 and move as a unit, move together,' " Adofo-Mensah added. "Again, I don't know what's going to happen at the draft, but we have a lot of scenarios planned for it, and we will best respond to whatever comes our way."
As all GMs are this time of year, Adofo-Mensah was tight-lipped when asked about certain positions.
Cornerback has been the position projected to the Vikings most often in recent mock drafts, but Adofo-Mensah said all positions, not just cornerbacks, are important to a team.
"There are a lot of positions on the football field. I think the great thing about football is that it is interconnected," Adofo-Mensah said. "It's our job to be the team with the more points than the other team at the end of the game 17 times.
"Hopefully we can get in the dance and do it a few more times, and then hopefully you do it that last time. Every team has needs," Adofo-Mensah added. "Ultimately, our job is to build a team that gives us the best chance to be the last one standing. There are just different ways to do that."
View every Vikings first round draft pick through the years.
When asked a follow-up question about cornerback depth, Adofo-Mensah didn't go into specifics.
"Again, it's the draft, right? There's somebody that sat in a dark room, that 'I see better value than anybody else in the NFL,' and hopefully that person will be there at the right particular value," Adofo-Mensah said.
Adofo-Mensah made it clear multiple times through his 20-plus minute, pre-draft press conference that the Vikings are open to anything Thursday night, including moving up or down.
In terms of trading up, Adofo-Mensah said:
"I can't speak for the teams in front of us. Ultimately, the draft is an auction. All we can do is talk," Adofo-Mensah said. "We can all talk at length about this, but all it takes is one person, one person to see that value.
"All these things that happen beforehand and all these things that get said, there is somebody sitting in a building right now who thinks that player is going to be the next great player," Adofo-Mensah added. "That person might want to trade up for that player and we'll find that out on Thursday, Friday or Saturday or whenever that is going to happen and we'll be ready for it when it does."
The Vikings GM also added that Minnesota's front office has had dialogue with other teams already, just to get a sense of where different teams are in in their thought process.
"We're always calling teams and getting their thoughts of, 'Hey, we might be thinking about this with this.' It's a big-nested 'if loop' of things we've got going on," Adofo-Mensah said. "Every GM that's involved, we've had some great conversations, and they've had some great conversations with us.
"Ultimately, we are prepared to do whatever is presented to us," Adofo-Mensah added. "If we stay at pick No. 12, we're going to do it, and we're going to do it the best we can for this organization, and if it's not that, we'll do something different."
Time will tell if the Vikings do indeed stay at the 12th pick, and time will tell with what position they end up taking.
As of now, there are 11 slots ahead of where Minnesota is set to pick, with nine teams holding those 11 selections. (The Jets and Giants each have multiple picks in the top 10).
Yet no matter what happens Thursday night, Adofo-Mensah and his staff will be ready for it.
"You try and get a sense [of what teams ahead of you will do]," Adofo-Mensah said. "[Media members] are an incredible source of information when it comes to that.
"Ultimately, first and foremost, your first job is if you're picking 12, make sure there's 12 names that can come out of your mouth," Adofo-Mensah continued. "So, that's where you start your discussions. And then at the point, you start asking yourself, 'Well, if it's this person versus this other thing, what would you do?'
"So, really, I'm not worried so much specifically about what's going to be done in front of us," Adofo-Mensah added, "but what situation will be presented to us and what's our way to best respond from there."
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