Vikings trade 30th pick to Lions

The Minnesota Vikings are willing to wait all offseason to hear if Brett Favre will return next season. So waiting an extra day to make their first pick in the 2010 NFL draft should be a snap.

Four hours into the draft on Thursday night, the Vikings traded the 30th overall pick in the first round to division rival Detroit, meaning their first pick of this draft will not come until Friday night.

The Vikings moved back four spots to the 34th overall selection, the second pick in the second round, swapped fourth-rounders with the Lions to move from 128th overall to No. 100 and also picked up the Lions' seventh rounder, No. 214.

"To make a trade and improve your draft status in each round was a huge success for us," Vikings vice president of player personnel Rick Spielman said.

If the Vikings wanted to pick an heir apparent to Favre, they could have done it with the 30th pick because Notre Dame's Jimmy Clausen was available and so was Colt McCoy from Texas. Minnesota chose to drop down instead, stockpiling picks and allowing the Lions to take California running back Jahvid Best.

Clausen was not chosen in the first round and could be available Friday, but it appears unlikely that the Vikings will take him. Spielman said the team has four players targeted for that pick and could even trade down again if the right deal presents itself.

"If there was a player at 30 that we were definitely sold on, that we said, 'There's no way we're going to trade out of this pick to have that player,' then we wouldn't have done it," Spielman said. "But I think with us having the options to look at tomorrow, we were able to potentially get a player we may have taken at 30 and help ourselves with our slots."

Southern Cal safety Taylor Mays and Texas linebacker Sergio Kindle are among the players the Vikings could consider Friday. But with no starting jobs open on a team that went to the NFC title game last season, the Vikings could afford to move down and pick up more selections and add the depth that they need at several positions.

Among the priorities the team had going into the draft was to add depth in the secondary, where cornerback Cedric Griffin is recovering from a torn ACL suffered in January and Antoine Winfield will turn 33 before the season starts. They signed Lito Sheppard on Wednesday to help there, but also could use upgrades at safety, depth at linebacker and on the defensive line.

The Vikings also lost backup running back Chester Taylor to Chicago and versatile backup offensive lineman Artis Hicks to Washington in free agency.

Then there is the quarterback issue.

Favre will turn 41 in October and took quite a beating from the Saints in the NFC championship. But the team has said all along it will not rush Favre's decision and would be comfortable letting him sit out the first few weeks of training camp like he did last year.

Favre threw 33 touchdowns and seven interceptions in a memorable season, but the Vikings aren't exactly set with a quarterback for the future. Tarvaris Jackson and Sage Rosenfels also are on the roster, and coach Brad Childress has always preferred that Jackson one day take the reins of the offense.

Jackson struggled early in his career to assert himself as a leader capable of handling this complex offense with consistency and Rosenfels quickly fell to No. 3 on the depth chart in the preseason.

With all that uncertainty, there was plenty of speculation that the Vikings would take Florida's Tim Tebow or Clausen with their first-round pick to develop, hopefully, behind Favre for a year or two until the old man is ready to walk away.

But Tebow went 25th to Denver and the Vikings didn't deem Clausen important enough to grab right away, so they traded down. They now have nine picks in the final six rounds, which gives them plenty of freedom to make moves over the next two days.

"It just gives you a lot more flexibility as you finish out this draft of being able to move up or back, which is something that we really haven't had since I've been here," Spielman said.

(Copyright 2010 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)

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