A first-round NFL mock draft that involves possible trades at all 32 spots amounts to a lengthy thought exercise more than anything grounded in reality.
That said, the work done by ESPN's Bill Barnwell along those lines was both interesting and reasonably plausible with regards to a few scenarios that could fit for the Vikings.
I talked about the possibilities on Friday's Daily Delivery podcast, but let's explore them a little more now.
*In one scenario, Barnwell has the Vikings trading defensive end Danielle Hunter and the No. 14 overall pick to Dallas in exchange for the No. 10 overall pick plus the Cowboys' second-round and fourth-round picks.
While I imagine Vikings coach Mike Zimmer might not love this idea given how much the Vikings missed Hunter last season when he was injured, it perhaps would have some merit if the Vikings were concerned either about his long-term healthy or how expensive he might be on a new contract.
Barnwell has the Vikings nabbing offensive tackle Rashawn Slater with the No. 10 pick if they move up. Maybe they could find Hunter's replacement with the No. 44 pick in the second round acquired from Dallas. Or they could use that top-10 pick on a premium defensive end and try to shore up the offensive line with the second-round pick.
The down side is I don't think this makes the Vikings better in 2021, which is what a lot of their offseason moves seem to be geared toward.
*In another intriguing scenario that didn't directly involve the Vikings, Barnwell had the Chargers, picking at No. 13 (one spot ahead of Minnesota), trading that pick and a fourth-rounder to Baltimore for offensive tackle Orlando Brown and the No. 27 pick.
If the Vikings could do something similar with the No. 14 pick ... sign me up? You address left tackle while still retaining a first round pick (albeit 13 spots lower) that could be used on either even more offensive line help or a defensive end. Brown was Pro Football Focus' No. 28 graded offensive tackle last season; Brian O'Neill was No. 25. Riley Reiff, who was cut, was No. 43. That would solidify the bookends of the offensive line.
UPDATE: Kansas City made a trade for Brown on Friday afternoon. The dream is gone.
*When Barnwell got to the actual Vikings pick at No. 14, he had them dealing it to Pittsburgh along with a fourth-round pick next season for the Steelers' first-round pick (No. 24 overall) and Pittsburgh's first-round pick in 2022.
That seems like decent value, but the concern would be potentially missing out on a high-end offensive tackle just to gain future equity. Pittsburgh's motivation is more clear: moving up if one of the five projected top quarterbacks is still available at No. 14. The Vikings' motivation in a win-now season would be less clear, though having an extra first round pick in 2022 would be a boon going forward.
A more simple trade down into the later part of the first round, if the trading partner was offering a second-round pick this season as part of the swap, would make sense given the Vikings have multiple needs and lack a second-round pick as of now.