Tuesday, April 28, 2015

Monthly Archives: February 2012

Donovan McNabb was sent to Minnesota by Washington in exchange for a 2012 sixth round pick and a conditional 2013 sixth round pick.

The conditional pick was reportedly based around playing time, and according to Tom Pelissero of 1500 ESPN, McNabb did not play enough snaps to trigger the condition.  McNabb played 348 of the team’s 1,037 snaps which is 33.6% and thought to be just under the amount needed to trigger the condition.

So, while the Vikings are one sixth rounder shy this offseason due to the McNabb trade, 2013 will not be affected.  This year, the Vikings have six of their regular picks (rounds 1-5 and round 7) and two extra picks (rounds 6 & 7) that came via the Sage Rosenfels and Jayme Mitchell trades.

Pelissero predicts the Vikings will get two fourth round conditional picks for losing Ray Edwards and Sidney Rice to free agency last offseason.  I have long been predicting a slightly less optimistic scenario for the compensatory picks in which the team nets one pick from the fourth, sixth and seventh rounds each.

Speculation surrounding the Vikings first round pick has been mostly centered around USC left tackle Matt Kalil ever since it became obvious their 2011 season was going nowhere.

Fans tuning into the combine this weekend were treated to a display of strength and athleticism that should confirm Kalil’s status as the top left tackle of this Draft prospect, ahead of Iowa’s Riley Reiff and Stanford’s Jonathan Martin.

Kalil had the second fastest 40-time of all the offensive linemen with a 4.99 official time.  He had 30 reps on the bench press, which is plenty respectable for an outside lineman.  He (and guard David DeCastro) blazed through the 3-cone drill posting a time of 7.33 seconds. 

He did post some disappointing results on the high jump and broad jump, which could lead to some worries about his burst off the line, but overall Kalil should have solidified his status as the top tackle in Indy.

It remains to be seen if the Vikings will draft Kalil, somebody else, or trade out of the three spot, but it is comforting to know that there will be such a talented option available in the top three this April.

At the NFL Scouting Combine on Friday, Leslie Frazier talked with the media about a number of subjects, two of which I have taken recent interest in and discussed in articles.

The first has to do with how the Vikings plan to use dynamic playmaker Joe Webb from here on out.  On Tuesday I penned an item over at Grant’s Tomb in which I laid out a plan that boiled down to three basic steps:

  1. Give up on Webb as a wide out.
  2. Minimize his other duties such as the “Blazer” package.
  3. Let him settle in and focus on being a backup quarterback.

On Friday, Leslie Frazier broke down his thoughts on how Webb should be used in the future and it looked a little like this:

  1. Give up on Webb as a wide out.
  2. Minimize his other duties such as the “Blazer” package.
  3. Let him settle in and focus on being a backup quarterback.

Okay, had to toot my horn a little bit there, sorry about that.

“We’ve talked about that as the season ended, and we’ve kind of settled on Joe being in that quarterback role,” Frazier said. “Although he can do a lot of different things, we really want to see him develop at the quarterback position. We’re leaning, as we speak today, moving away from some of those other things he’s capable of doing.”

Also, back in December when the Minnesota media was already writing Cedric Griffin’s obituary, I argued that the Vikings would not be so quick to jettison the cornerback and I reiterated those thoughts in my recent preview of the position.

On Friday, Frazier expressed optimism that Griffin could finally put his ACL injuries behind him in 2012 and return to form.  He cited Griffin’s good performances in the final two games of the season as a sign of things to come.

“He was coming off a major knee surgery a year ago, and sometimes guys need a year under their belt before they can really get back to (production) they had before,” Frazier said. “It remains to be seen if he’s one of those guys.”

It sounds like Frazier might be willing to give Griffin another shot, but it remains to be seen if Rick Spielman agrees.  It is thought that the Vikings have internally discussed both a restructured contract for Griffin and also the possibility of moving him to safety.

Am I alone in thinking the first day of this year’s NFL Scouting Combine in Indy was uncharacteristically short on the unsubstantiated rumors we all crave?  To be honest, I am kind of disappointed.

Still, I found some items for you guys (and gals) to chew on this morning:

  • Click here to read Paul Allen’s humorous encounters with Matt Kalil and Darrell Bevell at the Combine.  Further down, you get to the real interesting stuff, where Allen claims everyone in Indy is talking and acting like the Rams trading out of the number two spot is already a done deal.  Both St. Louis and Minnesota have publically admitted they are open to trading backwards for the right deal.  Spielman wants to be “very active” in trading to “accumulate picks” on Draft Day (which scares the Tarvaris Jackson out of me).
  • At 6’ 4” and 240 pounds, UCLA’s Cory Harkey was the biggest blocking tight end to weigh in on Thursday.  For those of you that would love to see the Vikings find a suitable replacement for Jim Kleinsasser via a late round pick, keep an on this guy.
  • When the NFC North Champions re-signed tight end Jermichael Finley to a two year deal this week, it opened up the possibility of them franchising (and then trading) backup quarterback Matt Flynn to the highest bidder.  The Cleveland Browns, who are thought to be a prime Draft Day trade partner with the Vikings or Rams, are now rumored to have interest in making a play for Flynn instead of trading up to draft Robert Griffin III.
  • I don’t have a link to provide here, but it seems possible that the free agent wide receiver market could dry up pretty quick if the current abundance of “smoke” is any indications.  The Eagles like Desean Jackson.  The Chargers like Vincent Jackson.  The Steelers want Mike Wallace to be spend his whole career with them.  The Chiefs want “somewhere over Dwayne Bowe” back.  The Cowboys can’t re-sign Laurent Robinson until after free agency starts because of a technicality, but they want him to remain on the roster.  The Colts are really talking up Reggie Wayne.  Don’t believe everything you hear, folks, but I’m willing to bet a number of these guys don’t make it to free agency.  But, hey, there’s always Stevie Johnson.  Yay?

That’s about it for now.  Hopefully there will be some more items of interest produced on Friday.  Leslie Frazier will speak to the press on Friday, and Matt Kalil will be officially interviewed by the Vikings on Friday, so I’m sure we’ll have some interesting things to pass along.

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