EAGAN (Minn.) — Minnesotans were anticipating the Big Reveal last week. The Big Reveal was near. Three months after the hire of an economics-related general manager, theWe were about to discover how Kwesi Afo-Mensah would conduct his first NFL draft.
A reporter approached Adofo-Mensah to ask if he was excited about putting his signature on the event as the first round approached. Adofo Mensah softly interrupted, saying: “I hope that they don't claim it's mine signature about anything.” It's our signature. … This is all about ‘we. I won't do anything just for me, or any perception I want to project on the public.
The response might have sounded like a cliché, but it proved predictive in the days that followed. Many draft participants noted that Adofo-Mensah repeatedly demanded their opinions throughout the draft process. The draft of 2022 was a familiar one, as most of the Vikings draft room was made up of former general manager Rick Spielman's staff and executives.
Adofo-Mensah traded aggressively making six deals in the league. This total was however one less than Spielman’s in 2017 and it equaled his from 2019. The team's decision not to draft defensive backs from its first two selections was a response to a clearly identified need. Spielman selected 16 defensive backs in the eight years that he was with Mike Zimmer. Five of those were in the first three rounds.
Our plan was successfully executed.#VikingsDraft
— Minnesota Vikings (@Vikings) April 30, 2022
What happens when an NFL draft commissioner is an economist? Adofo-Mensah was an economics major at Princeton. Although he did not seem to be aware of the convention against intra-division tradings, Adofo-Mensah's career began as a Wall Street commodities trader.
Randy Mueller, a four-decade-old pro football executive who was the general manager of several teams, said that it seemed like an NFL approach to a team being led by analytics.And . “People who look at it this way found their process to be sound. This is the way they do it. [general manager search]Committee selected and the draft you would expect to see. Although the proof will be in the pudding several years later, that is true for each team and every GM.
Zygi Wilf and Mark Wilf, Vikings owners, made it clear they desired a more horizontal leadership structure after firing Spielman in January. It's interesting to note that Adofo Mensah and Kevin O'Connell used the word “collaboration,” so often in interviews, that they have now apologized for using it again.
Ryan Grigson (ex-general manager at The ), said that Ryan is so good at listening to everyone and creating consensus.Adofo-Mensah took with him from Cleveland. “I have never seen anything similar. The wide range of information that is available, including data, assistant coaches, and scouting aids. Everyone has a voice. He's real with it. Everyone has been involved. It's been amazing to witness.
According to Chisom Opara (national scout), Adofo Mensah's genuine interest in diverse ideas is real.
Opara stated, “Kwesi's a very smart man.” “I think the best thing about him is that despite being so intelligent, he's still very intellectually curious. He is always challenging himself. He seeks to be better at thinking, to have better models or to have more options than he does. He isn't afraid to ask for help from coaches, scouts, or analytics. This makes it easier for scouts to voice their opinions, no matter how wrong they may be, and to have those conversations that lead to the right answers.
Adofo-Mensah, in one instance, was able to talk himself out of a deal to trade for the Vikings' first-round draft pick. After starting at No. He started at No. 12 and moved down to 32. 32. In exchange for additional picks, he was allowed to move out the first round entirely. He called it a “curveball” and referred to the offer in that way. The room was populated by personnel evaluators who believed that Georgia safety was being offered.He was too valuable to be passed on and they knew that he would not get the deal if they didn't.
Adofo Mensah said that “at the end of each day”, “everybody wishes to be heard.” People want to hear their voices, but they also want to be heard. All of us have our emotions and want to be heard. This dynamic is very interesting.
Adofo-Mensah was not allowed to plow any new ground in this draft. It was trading with the other side.And Each could draft the receiver they wanted, While convention would suggest that you should avoid any attempt at aiding a divisional opponent in the NFC North, Adofo-Mensah considered these decisions to be a competitive advantage. He argued that the Vikings not only gained extra value by trading down but also derived that value from an NFC North-team.
It's reasonable to wonder if the Vikings received enough in return in each of these cases. ESPN's draft trade chart, which calculates the approximate value of both deals, gave them moderate wins. Adofo-Mensah claimed he considered alternatives to solely return value and was acting out of the strong belief that both sides would have found a trading partner elsewhere if the Vikings refused.
These deals were not unprecedented in team history. The Lions were able to trade Spielman in the 2010 draft and pick running back Jahvid best at No. 30 overall.
Adofo-Mensah stated, “It's really economics.” It's all about how happy you feel in this outcome as opposed to this outcome.