Vikings, Packers in QB trade hotspot

Here's a draft scenario I'm sure many of you have considered but is nevertheless worth talking through.

A little-known NFL rule has put two NFC North teams in a trade hotspot of sorts during the latter third of the first round of Thursday night's NFL draft. The Minnesota Vikings (No. 25) and Green Bay Packers (No. 26) could each have an opportunity to trade out of the first round for teams who want to draft a quarterback.

Many media observers have suggested there are few, if any, first-round talents in this quarterback class. But as Jason Cole of Yahoo! Sports noted earlier this month, the NFL's collective bargaining agreement (CBA) calls for first-round draft picks to receive what amounts to five-year contracts. Second-round picks get four-year deals and are thus eligible for free agency a year earlier.

That difference could be a matter of millions of dollars for teams who actually find and develop a long-term starter in this draft. So if you're a team targeting a quarterback with a relatively high second-round pick, it might be worth it to trade into the bottom of the first to ensure that extra year of contract coverage.

As many as three or four quarterbacks could be selected in this manner if everything falls into place. The Vikings would have already had a chance to make one first-round pick, at No. 23, and the Packers as recently as 2008 have traded out of the first round to accumulate additional picks. If nothing else, it will be something to keep you glued to ESPN late into the evening.