EAGAN, Minn. — A record 40 draft-day trades happened across the league this year.
Vikings General Manager Rick Spielman could only smile as he played his part, negotiating six deals over two days that brought his total since becoming GM in 2012 to 32.
Spielman set a single-round personal best with four trades within the third round on Friday (that hopscotched the Vikings from the 81st overall pick to the 102nd).
Spielman’s spree concluded when Minnesota finished the night by drafting Boise State running back Alexander Mattison, but importantly, it didn’t commence until after the Vikings were able to exercise patience in the first and second rounds and still land the players they wanted in N.C. State center Garrett Bradbury (18th overall in first round) and Alabama tight end Irv Smith, Jr. (50th overall in second round).
“We were pretty patient letting it come to us,” Spielman said of the first two rounds. “I think we were pretty blessed and fortunate that we were able to get those guys that fell in our laps without us having to move up or down and staying patient and hoping no one would jump you for one of those players.”
The patience persisted as the Vikings crab-walked their way down the board, building draft capital in case they wanted to work their way back up the board on Saturday.
Such was the case in the fourth round, when Minnesota moved up six spots to select Oklahoma guard Dru Samia.
Spielman didn’t name specifics but he did say “there was another player that we tried to do it with, weren’t able to get it done, and so we went ahead and stood by our draft picks.”
In his pre-draft media availability on Tuesday, Spielman lauded the depth that the Vikings saw in this year’s prospects.
“Again, I thought it was a very deep class, and some of these players that we were able to get in the later rounds, we felt were going to be options for us as we come down and make the 53-man roster,” Spielman said in explaining why he didn’t package some late-round picks to move up a second time on Saturday.
Spielman also was asked if the Vikings received any calls from teams looking to acquire players already on the roster and said, “No, not really. I would say we didn’t.”
“Most of the calls were us either trying to move up or teams calling us for us to move back,” Spielman said. “But we had an opportunity, a couple opportunities to move back again, but I said, ‘We’re going to run out of players on our board. We should have enough to get what we need to get done.’ ”
Take a look at all of the Vikings 2019 NFL Draft Picks in photos.
Vikings Trades during 2019 NFL Draft:
1. Minnesota trades with Detroit, sending No. 81 (Lions selected Boston College safety Will Harris) for No. 88 and No. 204
2. Minnesota trades with Seattle, sending No. 88 (Seahawks selected Utah linebacker Cody Barton) and No. 209 (Seahawks drafted Florida State Demarcus Christmas) for No. 92 and No. 159
3. Minnesota trades with New York Jets, sending No. 92 (Jets drafted Southern Cal tackle Chuma Edoga) for No. 93 and No. 217
4. Minnesota trades with Baltimore, sending No. 93 (Ravens drafted Notre Dame receiver Miles Boykin) for Nos. 102, 191 and 193
5. Minnesota trades with Seattle, sending No. 120 (Seahawks drafted West Virginia receiver Gary Jennings) and No. 204 (Seahawks drafted Miami running back Travis Homer) to acquire No. 114 (Vikings drafted Oklahoma guard Dru Samia)
6. Minnesota trades with New England, sending No. 159 (Patriots drafted Maryland defensive lineman Byron Cowart) to acquire No. 162 (Vikings drafted Southern Cal linebacker Cameron Smith) and No. 239 (Vikings drafted Oregon receiver Dillon Mitchell)