The Minnesota Vikings pulling off a Day 1 trade with the Detroit Lions at the 2022 NFL draft gave new meaning to keeping your friends close and enemies closer.
First-year general manager Kwesi Adofo-Mensah didn’t surprise anybody by trading back in the first round to accumulate more draft picks. However, it was a bit of a shock to see him accept business with Detroit to do it.
The receiver-needy Lions jumped at the opportunity and parted ways with picks No. 32, 34 and 66 for the Vikings’ No. 12 and No. 46 picks. That move enabled them to move up and select Jameson Williams out of the University of Alabama.
As you could imagine, the draft room for the Lions was full of clapping and high-fiving when they were on the clock at No, 12. The Lions released a video of the trade, via Pro Football Focus’ Ari Meirov, with team executive vice president and general manager Brad Holmes talking about the phone conversation he had with Adofo-Mensah.
Inside the #Lions draft room:
*Reaction to the Vikings telling them they’d trade down to 32.
*Reaction to the Saints trading in front of them.
*Reaction to the Saints passing on Jameson Williams.
All of this is AWESOME behind-the-scenes.
— Ari Meirov (@MySportsUpdate) June 9, 2022
Some see the trade as Adofo-Mensah cutting off the proverbial nose to spite his face by handing the Lions arguably the most explosive offensive weapon in the draft. That’s a tough challenge for a Vikings secondary that allowed the fifth-most passing yards in 2021 to deal with twice a year.
Others see it as next-level wheeling and dealing in an effort to maximize the number of chances the Vikings had to hit on a really good player. Adofo-Mensah used those picks to work the board and turn them into Lewis Cine, Andrew Booth Jr., Ed Ingram and Brian Asamoah.
More bites at the apple is certainly better than one, regardless of the trajectory of Williams’ career with the Lions. It’ll be fun coming back to this trade years from now and seeing who won.