The Vikings have spent some recent draft capital on cornerbacks, selecting three in the first round of the past six drafts. Of the eight first-rounders in that stretch, the Vikings took Xavier Rhodes 25th in 2013, Trae Waynes 11th in 2015 and Mike Hughes 30th in 2018.
They also used a second-round choice on cornerback Mackensie Alexander in 2016.
So General Manager Rick Spielman has been told in no uncertain terms that he will not use a first-round pick on a cornerback this year.
“Everybody has angst,” Spielman said Tuesday. “My wife . . . I’ll leave that at home. She said, ‘If you draft another corner, don’t come home. You can just stay at the office.’ Although there’s some pretty good corners that we like in the first round.”
The question was about the Vikings’ need for offensive linemen. The Vikings, though, aren’t willing to reach for an offensive lineman when it’s their time to select.
“I understand where everything is, but I also understand that if we have a guy that we think is a Pro Bowl talent, and for some reason that guy falls to us at 18, how do you not take that player?” Spielman said. “Plus, you have to balance out the depth at each position, too. If there’s a unique situation where a Pro Bowl-caliber player falls to you at 18, and you’re taking a lesser talented player, I think you’re going to make a mistake. But I also believe with the depth at certain positions, when it goes into the Friday draft, you’re also going to get some pretty significant players. We always look as we make the decisions, you have a player at this position and a player at this position, and which one are you going to take? We can say we’re going to take this one because underneath him, there’s a huge drop off [in the position groups’ talent]. So if we don’t take him right here, we’re not going to get a need filled with a good player. If there’s four or five more players underneath that we do like, that’s when the potential is to take the one of those guys that falls to you. It could also be trading back in the draft to accumulate more draft picks, because we’re still going to get that same value of player as long as we have those four or five names there. You also have to really pay attention to where the run of the positions go in the draft.
“Two years ago, we had to move up to get Pat Elflein, for example, because there was a run right in there, and he was one of the few players left that we liked. Last year the run on the offensive linemen went earlier than where we picked. You have to weigh all that out, and you have to be able to react once you see how that board is coming off and where the runs are on positions.”