EAGAN, Minn. — Get ready for some fun on Day 3 of the 2020 NFL Draft, as the Vikings will head into the final four rounds with a whopping 13 picks for Saturday.
Minnesota has selected four players through the first three rounds, including a pair of first-rounders, and were poised to add a pair of third-rounders Friday night.
But after selecting Mississippi State cornerback Cameron Dantzler at No. 89, Vikings General Manager Rick Spielman traded No. 105 to the Saints for four 2020 picks, one in each of the final four rounds.
The Vikings received the 130th overall pick (fourth round), along with the 169th pick (fifth round), the 203rd pick (sixth round) and the 244th selection (seventh round).
"When we get down to 105, we had a couple guys in mind, but as you looked at the board, we have a lot of guys that we think can come in and help us [Saturday]," Spielman said. "The New Orleans offer of a fourth, a fifth, a sixth and a seven gives us enough ammunition to hopefully go up and get what we need to get [Saturday].
It would be hard for us to trade back, to be honest with you," Spielman added. "I think everybody is going to be exhausted, but [Saturday] is a big day."
Here is a breakdown of Minnesota's scheduled picks for Day 3:
Nos. 117, 130 and 132
Nos. 155, 169 and 176
Nos. 201, 203 and 205
Nos. 219, 244, 249 and 253
All three of Minnesota's fifth-round picks have been acquired via a trade. No. 155 was part of the Stefon Diggs trade with Buffalo. No. 169 was sent to the Vikings in the trade with the Saints. The 205th selection was acquired in Thursday night's trade with the 49ers in which Minnesota moved from No. 25 overall to No. 31 and tabbed cornerback Jeff Gladney.
According to Tom Pelissero of NFL Network, if the Vikings make all 13 of those picks, they would set a seven-round record with 17 total selections.
Spielman, however, said there's a strong chance the Vikings could package the 13 picks to move up, or even look to the future for draft picks in 2021.
"Well, you don't know what's going to happen [Saturday] if we'll keep all those picks," Spielman said. "We could move up. We could turn some of those picks to picks next year, as well, and flip over to 2021 picks. I really have a lot of faith … that we are going to get some good players out of that third day, but also gives us some opportunity to potentially add some picks to next year's draft.
"We can even — I don't want to say over pay — but be even more aggressive if we hone in on some guys, especially in that fourth-round area," Spielman added. "With three [fourth-round] picks, if you can potentially move in there and get more picks in that fourth round, you're getting the best of the third day, and hopefully that will be what we try to do, but we'll just have to see how it all goes."
Spielman noted that the Vikings tried to trade up in the third round before pick No. 89, but just couldn't find a suitable trade partner.
"It was all just trying to find a partner that wanted to trade with you," Spielman said. "We tried to be aggressive, we just couldn't get a trade partner to deal with us."
Spielman tabbed Saturday as "college scout day," meaning players will likely be found through the hard work and efforts of college scouts who traverse the country each spring, summer and autumn looking for prospects.
Minnesota had 60 players on its roster entering the draft, meaning the Vikings can add more than two dozen more players before the limit of 90. And with the undrafted free-agency process being different this year due to the COVID-19 pandemic, Spielman noted that the team could prefer to draft players instead of competing with other organizations to sign a guy multiple teams prefer.
"I know I feel very strong about our plan in college free agency and how we're going to do that," Spielman said. "But having this amount of picks, it alleviates some of that stress in college free agency just because of the situation that we're dealing with right now.
"So, having a lot of those picks in the third day — we have four in the seventh round and three in the sixth round — a lot of those guys that we like that if they did get the free agency, you'd have to be battling with [other teams]," Spielman added. "We have an opportunity to probably select those guys."