EDEN PRAIRIE, Minn. - It's unlikely Vikings general manager Rick Spielman was exaggerating when he said that there are about 8,000 different scenarios that the Vikings could face during the 2013 NFL Draft.
"I can tell you this, Coach (Leslie) Frazier, our entire coaching staff, has put in a significant amount of time, even more than ever because of the two picks we have in the first round," Spielman said.
For months, everyone from trainers to scouts to coaches have evaluated talent. Then they talked, a lot, about what they saw and what options will make the Minnesota Vikings better.
"(They're) tired of me asking questions, tired of me asking questions, not for the first time, but probably for the 500th time," Spielman said.
The challenge is even bigger for the Vikings, who have acquired an additional first-round pick from Seattle in the Percy Harvin trade. With picks 23 and 25, the Vikings trade possibilities seem to be plentiful as well.
"The phone has been, whether you believe me or not, I'm telling you it's been the most active it's been in a while because of where we're picking," Spielman said. "I don't know the reason why, but there are a lot of teams potentially jockeying from the top of that second round. There's some teams jockeying potentially in the bottom of the first round to come up to one of our picks at 23 or 25."
Spielman said trading up in Thursday's first round is not likely, but he wouldn't completely rule it out. He did show plenty of interest in trading back in the draft.
"I think if we decide to go ahead and trade back in this draft, because of the depth at the positions of need that we have, we can still get a very similar player and potentially pick up some things either this year or next year," Spielman said.
Former Vikings linebacker Ben Leber has transitioned to a broadcasting career. He says he thinks it's more likely the team would consider trading up in the later rounds.
"If anything, maybe move up in the 2nd round and get a little higher pick, maybe swap 2nds along with a 4th or 5th round draft pick, something like that," Leber said.
The Vikings have plenty of ammunition if they target a particular player. The team holds 11 picks in what many experts are saying is a very deep draft.
"I know where we're at right now, that everybody in this organization will be on the same page and we're going to pick the best players we think we can pick that are going to be best for the Minnesota Vikings," Spielman assured.
What Spielman wouldn't say is which direction the team will go. He acknowledged needs on both sides of the ball. Mock drafts are all over the board. Most indicated the Vikings will either target wide receiver, linebacker, cornerback or defensive line in the first round.
"We're trying to distinguish what makes this potential receiver better than this corner, better than this linebacker, better than this defensive end, better than this defensive tackle," Spielman said.
As for which positions the Vikings should target, Leber said he'd hold off on linebacker until the third round. He says he thinks defensive tackle and cornerback would be smart with the team's first two picks.
Regardless, he said fans should be excited about what's to come this week mostly because of the team's track record in recent drafts.
"They've done so well in the draft, you have a lot of confidence in the scouting department with Spielman and his group, (Scott) Studwell and his group. They've done a really good job of finding guys that can come in and play right away and that's what you want," Leber said. "You want to see your investment pay off in year one and these guys have done that."
The draft kicks off on Thursday night. The team is hosting a Vikings Draft Party ror fans at Mall of America Field.
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