Tuesday, April 25, 2017

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Mid-Round Sleepers for the Vikings
Image courtesy of Vikings.com

Minnesota Vikings general manager Rick Spielman has become notorious for finding mid-round steals since he took full reign as the franchise’s general manager in 2012.

A few of his ‘hits’ in the middle rounds the past few years include: Rhett Ellison, Jerick McKinnon, Danielle Hunter and Stefon Diggs.

Every draft class contains several “diamonds in the rough” that exceed their perceived stock. Whether it’s overcoming red flags or simply improving on a weakness, these players become “steals” of the draft.

Danielle Hunter is a prime example. He declared for the draft out of LSU as an extremely raw prospect who possessed Greek god-like physical tools. In just two years, he’s developed exponentially faster than anyone expected and is now perceived as one of the best young players in the NFL.

Which prospects are the Danielle Hunters of the 2017 draft class?

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Vikings Territory presents their 2017 NFL Draft Consensus Big Board

Minnesota Vikings GM Rick Spielman
Image courtesy of Vikings.com
The NFL Draft is always an exciting high point in the offseason, and more so when your favorite team is selecting early in the first round. Heck, it’s fun when your team’s “on the clock” at any point of the event’s first day.

But as you know, and have known since general manager Rick Spielman traded for Sam Bradford, the Minnesota Vikings do not have a first round pick in the 2017 NFL Draft. Minnesota hitched its wagon to Bradford for the upcoming season, not a rookie quarterback or offensive tackle potentially taken with what could have been the 14th-overall pick.

Consequently, Spielman is left with a handful of options on Day 2 and Day 3. His first “war room” decision will come with Pick 48, followed by two third-round slots, two fourth-round slots, and one each in Round 5, 6, and 7. It’s impossible to predict what he’ll do with his deck of cards, but we hope to come to the table with a few ideas.

That’s why we’re introducing the 2017 Vikings Territory NFL Draft Big Board, a compilation of some of the Internet’s most popular prospect rankings. After the jump, check out the full consensus board and be sure to come back on Thursday; we’ll be updating live as the action gets underway!

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Purple FTW! Podcast - Episode 368 - Guardians of the NFL Draft Vol. 2

I do not claim to be an NFL Draft expert. But draft season is a fun time of the year for me because I’m a fan of the process and the feeling of hope springing anew for the 31 teams that didn’t hoist the Lombardi last year. Plus because players are 100% subjective and despite being a neophyte, I will have around the same hit rate as a seasoned tape watcher that breaks down every aspect of a player’s game. It’s the “Sweet Inexact Science”. We take our crack at a First Round Mock Draft [Follow Along Here] and do up our Minnesota Vikings 7 (but really 6) Round Draft Simulation 2.0. [Click For Spoilers!]

All that and more “I’m basically Rocket Raccoon” chatter on this edition of the Purple FTW! Podcast!

A Carlson Digital Joint

6 Days Until NFL Draft — About the Labor Podcast Episode 57

BJ Reidell and Drew Mahowald continue their final review of the upcoming NFL Draft with a 45-minute show talking exclusively 2017 prospects and how they may or may not correlate with the Minnesota Vikings. Episode 58 of the About the Labor Podcast puts Quarterbacks, Tight Ends, Cornerbacks and Priority Undrafted Free Agents under the microscope.

Note: Discussion centers around on BJ and Drew’s most recently updated Prospect Ranking Boards available below after the jump!

PRIMARY TALKING POINTS

  • Prospect Review: Quarterbacks
  • Prospect Review: Tight Ends
  • Prospect Review: Cornerbacks
  • “Priority Undrafted Free Agent Engagement List Agenda”

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image courtesy of Vikings.com

The Minnesota Vikings failed to meet expectations in 2016. After a 2015 season that included a division title and plenty of hope for the future, a 3-8 finish to the 2016 season has many questioning Minnesota’s validity as a playoff-caliber team.

The 2017 season will put those questions to the test and provide the Vikings will the opportunity to prove the doubters wrong.

The official schedule for the upcoming season was released Thursday night. By finishing third in the NFC North in 2016, the Vikings will play the third-toughest slate of all NFC North teams in terms of opponent winning percentage in 2016.

Overall, the Vikings’ 2017 opponents combined for a winning percentage of .453 in 2016, which is the fifth-lowest number in the NFL and the lowest in the NFC North. The Indianapolis Colts have the easiest strength of schedule (.424) and the Denver Broncos will play the toughest slate (.578).

The Green Bay Packers have the toughest strength of schedule in the NFC North (.480), with the Chicago Bears (.479) and Detroit Lions (.469) rounding out the division.

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