Vikings' Second-Round Trade With Packers Listed as One of 2022 Draft's Best Trades

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The Vikings’ first trade of the 2022 NFL draft — moving back 20 spots in the first round in a deal with the Lions — was a controversial one. Some fans and analysts were confused by the decision not to take a player at 12, as well as the return they netted from Detroit for picks 12 and 46. There was a sound rationale behind it from the Vikings’ perspective, but that doesn’t mean everyone liked it.

The Vikings’ second trade also brought about some confused reactions, given that it was another deal with a divisional foe, this time the rival Packers. But at least with that trade, there was no question about who got the better value on their return. GM Kwesi Adofo-Mensah turned one second-round pick into two of them, which is always a good thing, process-wise.

ESPN’s Seth Walder ranked the five best trades that happened during the draft, and the Vikings’ acquisition of picks 53 and 59 for pick 34 came in at No. 4. Minnesota got the surplus value of a third-round pick in the deal.

The numbers alone don’t quite do Minnesota justice here, because they traded with a division rival.

Conjuring the No. 90 pick in the draft (the equivalent pick of the surplus value acquired) is good. Taking the No. 90 pick from a divisional opponent in exchange for nothing is better.

Critics will say this is bad because Minnesota let the Packers fill a critical need with the selection of Christian Watson. This is faulty logic because that leaves out the context that Green Bay let Minnesota have two picks that were collectively worth more than what they used on Watson, plus the Packers might have traded up and gotten Watson from someone else anyway.

A willingness to deal with divisional opponents is a good trait for a team to have (though it can amplify an error, as it did for the Packers here).

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The point about the added bonus of doing this deal with a division rival is a good one. Yes, the Packers got Watson, but the Vikings got two valuable picks as well, turning one into CB Andrew Booth Jr. in a third trade and taking G Ed Ingram with the other. Not only did the Vikings get great value in the trade, they theoretically — again, from a process perspective — damaged the Packers as well.

That’s good business.

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