I have long carried a banner that says “Accuracy By Volume” when it comes to my hopes for successful Vikings drafts.
When Rick Spielman was available to the press in Indianapolis he was asked a lot of questions that he essentially left unanswered. He offered up nothing new regarding Percy Harvin’s status with the team. He indicated very little when it comes to possibly restructuring the contracts of veteran players such as Jared Allen and Kevin Williams. He didn’t say much at all that couldn’t have been predicted, almost verbatim, by anyone that even casually follows the NFL.
One thing he did say, however, perhaps offers a clue to solving the puzzle that is offseason speculation.
“I like picks,” Spielman said when asked about the possibility of trading down on Draft Day. ”My goal is to always have 10, if I can have 10 picks.”
I found these two sentences to be more intriguing than all the others that he spoke combined. Why? Because that leaves Spielman one pick short of his goal, that’s why.
I consider this to be a sort of bat signal, an invitation to other teams, indicating the Minnesota Vikings are open for business. It sounds to me like Spielman has every intention of adding one more pick this season, and it won’t come as a compensatory selection, and would likely prefer to get a jump start on stockpiling 2014 picks, as well.
There are a number of ways Spielman can attain his desired quantity of picks. Trading down from the #23 spot would go a long ways towards meeting that goal, but so would trading players… good players… really good wide receivers that can also return kicks and line up as a running back, perhaps.
As the Pioneer Press managed to point out when they weren’t stalking Percy Harvin at his Florida home, the Vikings have selected 10 players in each of the last two drafts, and 18 of those 20 are still on the roster today. Nine of them played as starters, or saw significant playing time, in 2012 and are expected to contribute even more next season.
This Draft class, as acknowledged by Spielman and plenty of others, is considered to be a very deep one with a record number of underclassmen available for the taking. It may not be as top heavy as in years passed, but there are impact players expected to come off the board in all rounds, particularly in the offensive and defensive line groups.
Prior to the 2011 Draft, I indicated that Spielman has plenty of mistakes on record that resulted from ill-advised trades, but he has somewhat vindicated himself while enjoying more power and freedom during the Leslie Frazier era.
Spielman’s comments in Indianapolis should be considered fair warning, though, that he is aiming for three years straight of successful movement on Draft Weekend.
Which, of course, will make things a hell of a lot of fun.