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Notebook: Spielman Appreciates Extra Flexibility for Trades

EDEN PRAIRIE, Minn. — Have picks, will trade picks.

Vikings General Manager Rick Spielman twice traded up on Friday, costing a selection each time, before twice trading down to amass picks for the third and final day of the draft.

Minnesota enters Saturday with seven selections, including the second pick of the day (104th overall) that is one of three fourth-round picks. The Vikings currently don't have a fifth-round selection, but they have one in the sixth and three in the seventh.

The four draft-day trades in one session surpassed the three total made by Spielman last year. He's up to 20 draft-day trades since becoming GM in 2012.

This year, he had even more flexibility because of a rule change that allowed compensatory picks to be swapped for the first time. Picks 97 through 107 in the third round were all compensatory picks, and six of the 11 slots were parts of trades.

"That's why you saw all the trades today," Spielman said. "It was huge to be able to (trade compensatory picks), because I think this was, if I'm not mistaken, a record for how many third-round compensatory (picks) there were this year. I think there were seven or eight more than normal.

"So, being able to trade those picks made it pretty interesting," Spielman continued. "Because even the last pick that we just saw was traded. It gives the teams a lot more flexibility to be able to trade back and forth. Which makes the day go a lot quicker than sitting there knowing you have to sit there on those, not being able to trade those compensatory picks." 

Spielman said executing trades is the most fun part of the draft for him.

That's not to say he does so haphazardly like contestants in a frantic game like "Switcharoo" or "The Race Game" on The Price is Right.

Each swap is done with deliberation and calculation of how many teams the Vikings must leap frog or how many spots they can drop while still landing a player they "covet."

"It's the (most fun) part of the draft for me and especially knowing guys you have targeted, when to pull back and still be able to have guys there on the board that you still covet," Spielman said. "I know working with the coaching staff and as we come together as a group and really hone in on that draft board, we have a pretty good sense on the guys that fit what we're looking for as a Minnesota Viking. And the pro department led by Ryan Monnens and George Paton, just understanding other teams' needs, where they are potentially going to go.

"That gives you the flexibility to know whether you can move up or down or just stay," Spielman added. "And then, Rob Brzezinski and George both handling the trades, it keeps them very busy, and we're pretty aggressive on the phones, calling a lot before our pick and also making a lot of phone calls behind our pick. And we were able to accomplish, I felt, a lot today on that front."

When the Vikings saw that Dalvin Cook was reaching the 40s, Spielman decided that Cook might not make it all the way to 48 and executed a deal to receive Cincinnati's pick at 41 in exchange for No. 48 and a fourth-round pick (128th overall).

"We felt that he was just too talented of a player not to take a swing and try to go up and get him and feel that we have great value for where we were able to land Dalvin in the second round," Spielman said.

Similarly, in the third round, Spielman and the Vikings personnel department anticipated that there would be a run on offensive linemen.

"You could get a sense," Spielman said, "that those offensive linemen were going to come off there, and we did not feel that if we sat where we were in the third round that we would get one of those guys that we had targeted. So we wanted to be aggressive to go up and get Pat Elflein. He is a tone-setter up front. He can play center, play guard."

The Vikings were able to replenish their picks for Saturday with a pair of trades.

Minnesota dealt the 86th overall pick to Kansas City in exchange for the 104th (third round), 132nd (fourth round) and 245th (seventh round) picks. The Chiefs drafted Toledo running back Kareem Hunt with the selection.

The Vikings then sent the 104th overall pick to San Francisco for the 109th (fourth round) and 219th (seventh round) picks. The 49ers selected Iowa quarterback C.J. Beathard with the 104th pick.

"I think we moved back five spots to go to that second pick in the fourth, and we had more than five names on the board," Spielman said. "So, I know we were going to be able to accomplish to get one of those players that we liked and still, now we have, I believe the top pick in the seventh round as well."

In the division

Green Bay opened the second round of the draft by selecting Washington's Kevin King, a 6-foot-3 cornerback who led the Huskies with 13 pass breakups in 2016 and added two interceptions.

The Packers also selected North Carolina State defensive back Josh Jones at 61 and Auburn defensive tackle Montravius Adams at 93.

Chicago traded its 36th overall pick and a seventh-round selection to Arizona in exchange for the 45th overall pick and fourth- and sixth-round picks this year, as well as a 2018 fourth-round pick.

The Bears drafted tight end Adam Shaheen, a junior out of Ashland, at 45 with their only selection on the second day.

Detroit drafted Florida cornerback Teez Tabor at 53 and Northern Illinois receiver Kenny Golladay at 96.

5th RB ever picked by Vikings in Round 2

Cook became the fifth running back ever drafted by the Vikings in a second round. The four previous players were Lance Rentzel (1965), Jim Lindsey (1966), Ed Marinaro (1972) and Toby Gerhart (2010).

"He'll make a difference in Minnesota," NFL Media analyst Mike Mayock said. "Every time you throw on the tape, you love what you see."

Brotherly Love

The Vikings signed Cayleb Jones to their practice squad at the end of the 2016 season and signed him to a future contract in January. Jones initially made it into the NFL as an undrafted rookie with Philadelphia last May.

On Friday, his brother, Zay Jones, was drafted by Buffalo in Philadelphia with the 37th overall pick. 

Below are the picks made by teams in Rounds 2 and 3:

Round 2

  1. Green Bay (from Cleveland): Kevin King, CB, Washington, Senior
  1. Jacksonville (from Seattle through San Francisco): Cam Robinson, T, Alabama, Junior
  1. Seattle (from Jacksonville): Malik McDowell, DT, Michigan State, Junior
  1. Arizona (from Chicago): Budda Baker, S, Washington, Junior
  1. Buffalo (from Los Angeles Rams): Zay Jones, WR, East Carolina, Senior
  1. Los Angeles Chargers: Forrest Lamp, G, Western Kentucky, Senior
  1. New York Jets: Marcus Maye, S, Florida, Senior
  1. Carolina: Curtis Samuel, WR, Ohio State, Junior
  1. Minnesota (from Cincinnati): Dalvin Cook, RB, Florida State, Junior
  1. New Orleans: Marcus Williams, S, Utah, Junior
  1. Philadelphia: Sidney Jones, CB, Washington, Junior
  1. Buffalo: Gerald Everett, TE, South Alabama, Senior
  1. Chicago (from Arizona): Adam Shaheen, TE, Ashland, Junior
  1. Indianapolis: Quincy Wilson, CB, Florida, Junior
  1. Baltimore: Tyus Bowser, OLB, Houston, Senior
  1. Cincinnati (from Minnesota): Joe Mixon, RB, Oklahoma
  1. Washington: Ryan Anderson, OLB, Alabama, Senior
  1. Tampa Bay: Justin Evans, S, Texas A&M, Senior
  1. Denver: Demarcus Walker, DE, Florida State, Senior
  1. Cleveland (from Tennessee): DeShone Kizer, QB, Notre Dame, Junior
  1. Detroit: Teez Tabor, CB, Florida, Junior
  1. Miami: Raekwon McMillan, LB, Ohio State, Junior
  1. New York Giants: Dalvin Tomlinson, DT, Alabama, Senior
  1. Oakland: Obi Melfonwu, S, Connecticut, Senior
  1. Houston: Zach Cunningham, LB, Vanderbilt, Junior
  1. Seattle: Ethan Pocic, C, LSU, Senior
  1. Kansas City: Tanoh Kpassagnon, DE, Villanova, Senior
  1. Dallas: Chidobe Awuzie, CB, Colorado, Senior
  1. Green Bay: Josh Jones, S, N.C. State, Junior
  1. Pittsburgh: JuJu Smith-Schuster, WR, Southern Cal, Junior
  1. Buffalo (from Atlanta): Dion Dawkins, G, Temple, Senior
  1. Carolina (from New England): Taylor Moton, G, Western Michigan, Senior

Round 3

  1. Cleveland: Larry Ogunjobi, DT, UNC Charlotte, Senior
  1. San Francisco: Ahkello Witherspoon, CB, Colorado, Senior
  1. New Orleans (from San Francisco through Chicago): Alvin Kamara, RB, Tennessee
  1. Jacksonville: Dawuane Smoot, DE, Illinois, Senior
  1. Los Angeles Rams: Cooper Kupp, WR, Eastern Washington, Senior
  1. Minnesota (from New York Jets): Pat Elflein, C, Ohio State, Senior
  1. Los Angeles Chargers: Dan Feeney, G, Indiana, Senior
  1. Tennessee (from New England through Carolina): Taywan Taylor, WR, Western Kentucky, Senior
  1. Cincinnati: Jordan Willis, OLB/DE, Kansas State, Senior
  1. Baltimore from Philadelphia: Chris Wormley, DE, Michigan, Senior
  1. Atlanta (from Buffalo): Duke Riley, LB, LSU, Senior
  1. New Orleans: Alex Anzalone, LB, Florida, Junior
  1. Carolina (from Arizona): Daeshon Hall, DE, Texas A&M, Senior
  1. Baltimore: Tim Williams, OLB, Alabama, Senior
  1. New York Jets (from Minnesota): ArDarius Stewart, WR, Alabama, Junior
  1. Indianapolis: Tarell Basham, DE, Ohio, Senior
  1. Washington: Fabian Moreau, CB, UCLA, Senior
  1. Denver: Carlos Henderson, WR, Louisiana Tech, Junior
  1. New England (from Tennessee): Derek Rivers, DE, Youngstown State, Senior
  1. Tampa Bay: Chris Godwin, WR, Penn State, Junior
  1. New England (from Detroit): Antonio Garcia, T, Troy, Senior
  1. Kansas City (from Minnesota through Miami): Kareem Hunt, RB, Toledo, Senior
  1. New York Giants: Davis Webb, QB, California, Senior
  1. Oakland: Eddie Vanderdoes, DT, UCLA, Senior
  1. Houston: D'Onta Foreman, RB, Texas, Junior
  1. Seattle: Shaquill Griffin, DB, Central Florida, Senior
  1. Los Angeles Rams (from Buffalo through Kansas City): John Johnson, S, Boston College, Senior
  1. Dallas: Jourdan Lewis, CB, Michigan, Senior
  1. Green Bay: Montravius Adams, DT, Auburn, Senior
  1. Pittsburgh: Cameron Sutton, CB, Tennessee, Senior
  1. Seattle (from Atlanta): Delano Hill, S, Michigan, Senior
  1. Detroit (from New England): Kenny Golladay, WR, Northern Illinois, Senior
  1. Miami [compensatory]: Cordrea Tankersley, CB, Clemson, Senior
  1. Arizona (from Carolina) [compensatory]: Chad Williams, WR, Grambling State, Senior
  1. Philadelphia (from Baltimore) [compensatory]: Rasul Douglas, CB, West Virginia, Senior
  1. Tennessee (from Los Angeles Rams) [compensatory]: Jonnu Smith, TE, Florida International, Senior
  1. Denver [compensatory]: Brendan Langley, CB, Lamar, Senior
  1. Seattle [compensatory]: Nazair Jones, DT, North Carolina, Junior
  1. New Orleans (from New England through Cleveland) [compensatory]: Trey Hendrickson, OLB, Florida Atlantic, Senior

104: San Francisco (from Minnesota through Kansas City) [compensatory]: C.J. Beathard, QB, Iowa, Senior

105: Pittsburgh [compensatory]: James Conner, RB, Pittsburgh, Junior

106: Seattle [compensatory]: Amara Darboh, WR, Michigan, Senior

  1. New York Jets [compensatory]: Kendell Beckwith, LB, LSU, Senior
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