Minnesota Vikings GM Rick Spielman is preparing for a busy second day of the NFL draft after staying quiet in the first round.
The Vikings did not have a first-round choice on Thursday night after trading it to the Eagles last August to acquire quarterback Sam Bradford. Even though Spielman has a history of trading up aggressively, he held tight this time around.
It turns out that he wasn’t blowing smoke when he said on Tuesday that a trade up into the first round was unlikely. The Vikings have three picks in the second and third rounds on Friday night, including No. 48 overall in the second round and Nos. 79 and 86 in the third round.
“I think there are a lot of quality players through the second, third and fourth rounds that can be significant players for us next year coming in,” Spielman said on Tuesday. “But you never know if something falls out of the sky that’s just too good or you make that happen.”
Spielman did not make any moves despite several players in positions of need falling down the draft board on Thursday night. Entering the draft the team’s biggest need was on the offensive line to bolster a unit that was among the worst in the league last season.
Western Kentucky guard Forrest Lamp and Alabama tackle Cam Robinson, both projected to be first-round draft picks, were not selected on Thursday night. That could give the Vikings several options on Friday, in addition to Indiana guard Dan Feeney, Temple guard Dion Dawkins and LSU center Ethan Pocic.
The Vikings could also use another running back after longtime star Adrian Peterson signed with the New Orleans Saints. Tennessee’s Alvin Kamara, Florida State’s Dalvin Cook and South Florida’s Marlon Mack are among the candidates the Vikings could consider in the second and third rounds.
They have long been in search of a safety to start opposite standout Harrison Smith and had their eyes on Michigan’s Jabrill Peppers, a highly touted prospect who slid down the draft board after news leaked that he had a diluted urine sample at the combine in February. But the Cleveland Browns grabbed Peppers with the 25th pick, ending any chance that he dropped into the second day and gave the Vikings a real chance to move up to grab him.