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Lunchbreak: Trade for Harrison Smith Listed as Vikings Most Impactful Draft-Day Move

Vikings General Manager Rick Spielman rarely shies away from the fact that he likes to work with at least 10 picks each year in the draft.

Minnesota currently has eight total selections, beginning with the 18th overall pick, meaning Spielman would have to pull off a trade or two to reach his coveted number.

It wouldn’t be a surprise if Spielman did make a move considering he has negotiated 26 draft-day trades since becoming the general manager in 2012. That number does not include swaps involving players and picks that occurred before or after a draft.

But which one was his best? ESPN recently went through the best draft-day move trade in each team’s history to select the most impactful one.

Vikings beat reporter Courtney Cronin pointed to a 2012 deal that netted them safety Harrison Smith as Spielman’s best work.

Cronin wrote:

Minnesota’s biggest and longest-lasting impact came when General Manager Rick Spielman decided he wasn’t done on the first night of the draft. Minnesota had been eyeing Notre Dame’s Smith but wasn’t convinced he’d be there when the Vikings were set to pick again at No. 35 in the second round.

To avoid missing out on a future Pro Bowler, Spielman sent a fourth-round pick to Baltimore to move up to No. 29 to draft Smith. Since that day, Smith has become an irreplaceable staple in the Vikings defense and is routinely regarded as the most versatile safety in the NFL.

Smith has appeared in 99 games with the Vikings, including 98 starts. He has established himself as one of the league’s best players at his position, as evident by his four straight Pro Bowl honors and a First-Team All-Pro selection in 2017.

The safety’s ability to play anywhere on the field has helped Vikings Head Coach Mike Zimmer’s unit rank in the top 10 in points allowed in each of the past four seasons. Minnesota’s defense has also been in the top 10 in yards allowed per game in three of the past four seasons.

Smith is entering his eighth season in Purple. He has 20 career interceptions, which ranks 10th all-time with the Vikings, and is the franchise leader with four career pick sixes.

Coller: Lindstrom could be ‘best fit’ for Vikings in 1st round

With the 2019 NFL Draft a little more than 48 hours away, there is plenty of daily buzz about the offseason event.

Matthew Coller of SKOR North radio has been going through various prospects he feels like would be a strong fit for the Vikings in the first round.

Coller landed on Boston College guard Chris Lindstrom a few days ago as a potential pick at the No. 18 spot for Minnesota on Thursday night.

Coller wrote:

The addition of Gary Kubiak to the coaching staff made it clear they will be using zone running and all the play-action passes that come off it. In general, running an outside zone scheme requires athletic offensive linemen who have the quickness to reach the second level in a hurry. With the loss of Nick Easton in free agency, the Vikings will need a replacement with above average quickness. That replacement could be Boston College’s Chris Lindstrom.

Lindstrom started all 12 games at right guard for Boston College in 2018. He was named to the All-ACC First Team and was a participant in the Senior Bowl.

Lindstrom, who started 47 of 50 career games, also saw time at right tackle in college.

Coller added:

Last year, we saw seven interior offensive linemen taken before the 40th overall pick. This year, the draft appears to be [heavier] with tackle prospects, which could put someone like Lindstrom in high demand in the early second round for teams looking for an interior lineman.

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