Vikings GM Kwesi Adofo-Mensah addresses draft-day trades with Packers and Lions, says feelings won't get in the way of improvement

Vikings GM Kwesi Adofo-Mensah addresses draft-day trades with Packers and Lions, says feelings won't get in the way of improvement

First-year Vikings GM Kwesi Adofo-Mensah had an interesting first draft with Minnesota.

Not only did Adofo-Mensah send the Lions the No. 12 and No. 46 picks for Nos. 32, 34, and 66, he also traded with the NFC North’s perennial favorite Green Bay. The Packers got that No. 34 pick while Minnesota landed Nos. 42 and 59.

Both the Lions and Vikings added wide receivers with the first of those selections, with the Lions getting Jameson Williams at No. 12 and the Packers netting Christian Watson at 34. 

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Adofo-Mensah is fully aware of the repercussions of letting division rivals get skill-position players, and he isn’t backing down from his decision.

“I’m not dumb,” Adofo-Mensah told Peter King, via Pro Football Talk. “I know every touchdown catch [Jameson Williams] scores against us, TV will show me or show my name. That’s life. If my feelings are going to get in the way of us making decisions to improve the team, I shouldn’t be in this seat.”

Adofo-Mensah continued, discussing why he traded down 20 spots with a division rival.

“I made the decision because I’m in charge, but it’s more fair to say we made the decision as an organization. The room was behind what we were doing … Detroit had 32 and 34, and we were targeting those picks for specific reasons.”

To Adofo-Mensah’s credit, Minnesota ended up with a haul. It took safety Lewis Cine at No. 32, cornerback Andrew Booth at No. 42, guard Ed Ingram at No. 59, and linebacker Brian Asamoah at No. 66. That’s a lot of talent — particularly on the defensive side of the ball — in the early rounds of the draft, but it still came at the cost of making offenses the Vikings will see twice a year better.

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The Vikings GM addressed doing a second intradivisional trade shortly after the draft.

“A call was made, and obviously we thought heavily about, again, doing another trade [in] our division — for another receiver — and to that point on the board, I don’t believe we had a corner yet,” he said in the days after the draft, per Inside the Vikings. “So believe me, the gravity of that was not lost on me, but again, you’re supposed to make calculated decisions, and we did, and ultimately I think we were rewarded with what we did in the end.”

While a lot of the criticism of Adofo-Mensah’s moves has come because of who the Vikings dealt with, the return also leaves something to be desired. Dropping 20 spots in one trade and eight in another is risky.

The trade with the Packers was ultimately likely a good one, but it got Aaron Rodgers another target. In a division that’s been as dominated by one team as the NFC North has, that’s a hard sell regardless of the return.