13 months and change after it happened, the blockbuster deal that sent Stefon Diggs to the Bills became complete during the 2021 NFL Draft. Three of the six players the Vikings added on Day 3 of this year's draft were taken with picks that came, one way or another, from that huge March 2020 deal.
In the fourth round, the Vikings took Cal defensive back Camryn Bynum with a pick that they got from trading one of the Diggs picks last year. Then they took Florida State edge rusher Janarius Robinson with a pick that came directly from Buffalo. Even fifth-round tight end Zach Davidson was taken with a pick acquired in a 2020 draft day deal that involved one of the Diggs picks.
So the Vikings essentially got Justin Jefferson, Bynum, Kenny Willekes, Davidson, and Robinson in exchange for Diggs and two late-round picks in 2020.
It'll make more sense if you just look at this chart I put together that details the Vikings' last nine trades, dating back to the Diggs deal.
Even if it was just Diggs for Jefferson, you could argue that both sides are winners from the trade. The Bills got one of the best receivers in the NFL and a perfect No. 1 target for Josh Allen, while the Vikings got a younger, cheaper wideout who shattered rookie records in 2020 and is the ascending face of the franchise.
With that said, the deal will end up looking even better for the Vikings if someone like Bynum or Robinson turns into a great player.
My other big takeaway from the above chart is that the Vikings' trade-down for Christian Darrisaw in the first round was brilliant. Picking up Kellen Mond and Wyatt Davis and still getting a player similar in value to Alijah Vera-Tucker is the type of move that could pay dividends for a long time.
The Yannick Ngakoue situation was a disaster for Minnesota, but that pain will be eased if Patrick Jones II develops into a productive pass rusher. Spielman's two prominent trade-downs last year haven't aged very well, but that's mainly because of Jeff Gladney's legal issues and the struggles of the Vikings' 2020 Day 3 picks. Players like D.J. Wonnum, James Lynch, and Harrison Hand could break out in year two after having a more traditional offseason.
Jefferson didn't need a normal offseason to establish himself as an elite young receiver during his rookie year.
Lastly, if this felt like a quiet draft from Spielman in terms of trades, that's because it was. With zero trades on Days 2 or 3, this was the first time since he became GM in 2012 that the Vikings made just one trade during the draft.
- 2021: 1
- 2020: 4
- 2019: 6
- 2018: 3
- 2017: 7
- 2016: 3
- 2015: 3 2014: 4 2013: 2 2012: 4
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