Vikings General Manager Rick Spielman held a pre-Draft press conference Tuesday and he touched on a number of hot topics.
The whole thing can be viewed by clicking here.
I have watched it a few times now, and here are my notes:
January 20-25 - Senior Bowl
January 26 - Pro Bowl
February 17 - First day of franchise / transition player designation
February 19-25 - Scouting Combine
March 11 - Free Agency begins
March 23 - Owner's Meeting
April 7 - Off-season workouts begin for teams with new HC
April 17 - 2014 Schedule Released
April 21 - Off-season workouts begin for teams with returning HC
May 2 - Deadline for RFAs to sign offers
May 8-10 - NFL Draft
Well, with only a little more than 48 hours until the 2012 NFL Draft is underway, I decided to pull the plug on any last minute changes to my 2012 Mock Draft a little early and call for a final version right now.
My final mock draft of the year is two rounds deep and can be viewed right here.
My top three picks have stayed exactly the same since I posted my first version on January 10th. Andrew Luck, RGIII, and then Matt Kalil to the Vikings. I still think there is a very good chance that Rick Spielman attempts a coup and trades back from the three spot, but the mock does not account for trades… or else things would get way too messy.
In the second round, I eschewed the stereotypical need based pick of a receiver or secondary talent and instead went with a guy I felt was clearly the best player available. Here is a hint: It’s a defensive tackle.
I know defensive tackle isn’t the biggest need on this roster, but it also isn’t the most solid position on this team either, and I just couldn’t pass up this particular prospect when the mock worked out the way it did.
Anyways, here is the link again, check it out… scrutinize it… and then come back on Thursday and Friday to laugh at how horribly wrong my mock was.
The Vikings are, for a lack of a better phrase, blitzing the media with the contention that they are undecided as to whom they will select if they keep the third overall selection.
After weeks of Rick Spielman using the media to confuse anyone that knows how to read Head Coach Leslie Frazier has jumped into the action and is also putting forth the notion that the Vikings can justify passing on USC left tackle Matt Kalil.
“You’ve got to really weigh your options,” Frazier said in a recent interview. “Because the philosophy [in the NFL] has always been to get the game-changer. And left tackle is not necessarily the game-changer. Usually game-changers are the guys who can score you points. Receivers. Quarterbacks. So what are we measuring that left tackle against? It’s a loaded debate.”
See, and here is where I either imply that I think this is either all “smoke” or imply that I think the regime running this team is full of idiots.
It is not a loaded debate.
This is not about positional importance. It never should have been, and it certainly shouldn’t be now. This is about selecting the best player for your team, the prospect that your thousands of scouting hours, that you have bought and paid for, tells you is the best football player for your team.
It is that damn simple.
Spielman wants to insist that Matt Kalil, Justin Blackmon, and Morris Claiborne all have been given the exact same grades by the Vikings front office. As someone that has seen what real scouting reports (not the kind you find on the internet) look like, I find it very, very hard to believe that these three players have the exact same grade.
The reports are far too detailed, far too personalized to get me to believe the process has identified no differences between three very different individuals.
[Note From Adam: Darren Campbell of Kick Ass Blog (formerly of Grant’s Tomb) is at it again. Darren has been kind enough to do yet another guest post here at VT and this one is certainly worth the cost of admission (which is nothing, but still…). Make sure to give it a read and head on over to his site (by clicking here) and let him know what you thought!]
Am I obsessed with whom the Vikings will pick Thursday night with the #3 overall draft pick? Not at all. But I have devoted a few posts to the subject this winter and spring. It is an important pick. And if Vikings general manager Rick Spielman gets it right, Minnesota will get an impact player for the next decade.
He could get it wrong, too. It happens every year with teams picking high in the draft. They miss on guys. That’s why every draft pick is important and the Vikings (so far) have 10 of them. If (heavy emphasis on “if”) the team uses those picks well in this week’s college draft, the Vikings rebuilding effort will be helped enormously.
A week ago, Viking Update had two columns listing the team’s top five best and worst #1 draft picks in the past 25 years. I wanted to take that idea in another direction. Who have been the best late-round draft picks the Vikings have made during their 52 years in the league?
What follows is that list. For the readers who are wondering what a “late round draft pick” means to me, I decided all fifth-round and beyond to be the late rounds. Not everyone will agree with that decision. We are dealing with two different types of drafts in this list. From 1961-1992 the college draft was 12 rounds. But starting in 1993, it became a seven-round draft. Perhaps the fifth round isn’t quite late enough for some people when the draft is 12 rounds. But you’ve got to start somewhere. So I started at the fifth round.
Anyway, let’s do this.
If you read our comments section and have done so recently, you have surely noticed that a new Vikings site called Vikings Draft Card has a very staunch supporter (highly unlikely to be the writer of the site, right? Right.) that loves dumping links from that site onto ours.
The site appears to have just been started this month and, by all appearances, has a main purpose of persuading Vikings fans that Matt Kalil is not worth being drafted in the three spot that the Vikings currently hold and should instead draft Morris Claiborne. I am all about opposing views and going against the grain, so I really do recommend checking out the site. However, we won’t be adding them to our blogroll until/unless the site owner decides to put his or her name (or any name) to the words they write.
Still, I have to give that site credit (and the person posting links in our comments section) for pointing us towards a report coming out of Green Bay that essentially leaks Wonderlic scores of a number of top prospects in this Draft class.
Much has been made of the reports that Claiborne scored an astonishingly low Wonderlic grade of “4” which would assuredly rank him amongst the lowest scores ever. Even Vince Young did better.
However, the latest leaks suggest that maybe Kalil isn’t the brightest bulb on the tree either.
The score is lowest amongst the reported scores for offensive tackles, and second lowest of all offensive linemen reported on. He scored 11 points less than the average score for offensive tackles, but is still 11 points ahead of Claiborne’s score which can allegedly be written off to a learning disability.
So, there you have it, some evidence that might suggest the Vikings should pass on the USC left tackle that yours truly rates as the second best player (yes, including quarterbacks) in this class. For me, this just more evidence that the Vikings instead should take any trade offers very seriously.
A Wonderlic score may or may not be any sort of indicator of a prospect’s future as a football player, but I still think the Vikings must take Kalil if they remain at the three spot.
Apparently everyone here at Vikings Territory loves it when Adam and I disagree on something. Our post a week ago where we went back and forth about whether or not the Vikings should trade down in the draft started quite the discussion between readers. Luckily for you all, Adam and I have different opinions quite frequently. And as such, we’ve decided to make this a recurring column where we duke it out over various topics.
As most of you probably know, Adam and I have been participating in a series of online, community mock drafts where groups of people act as the war room for NFL teams. Obviously, we’ve represented our beloved Vikings. Throughout the process, Adam and I have differed over the primary need of this franchise. A week ago, Adam ranked the Vikings needs from most desperate to not an issue. According to him, the position of safety is the #1 need of this team. In my opinion, left tackle is our most pressing demand, which is at #3 on Adam’s list. With the most important Vikings draft in recent memory literally right around the corner, what ever will Vikings management do if Adam and I can not agree on what should be the team’s priority?! Luckily for the franchise, I am blessed with the ability to persuade and argue. So, getting Adam to see the light should take no time at all.
Continue reading to see this epic battle go down.
Nebraska cornerback Alfonzo Dennard once looked like a possible first round pick. With the possible ability to switch over to safety at the next level, he was often connected to the Vikings second round pick in many mock drafts a few months back.
His draft stock has been on a slide ever since he had an unremarkable Senior Bowl week and NFL Scouting Combine. Now, however, it seems that he could slide clear out of the Draft all together.
Dennard was reportedly arrested, now just days before the NFL Draft takes place, in Nebraska for allegedly assaulting a police officer. Police say that a 2:00 a.m. bar fight resulted in police intervention which ended up seeing Dennard shove an officer and then punching the officer in the face. It took four officers to restrain and arrest Dennard.
While Dennard and defensive end Everson Griffen could surely have fun comparing stories, he is clearly not of the character that one should purposely seek out in the NFL Draft until the prospect falls far enough to make the risk potentially worthwhile.
Speaking of prospects that could be on the Vikings radar getting into trouble, Ohio State tackle Mike Adams reportedly tested positive for marijuana at the NFL Scouting Combine. Keep in mind that the Vikings are the same franchise that drafted Percy Harvin despite the same pre-Draft reports coming out about him and they are the same organization that brought drug trafficking felon Jerome Simpson in for a visit on 4/20. Still, the report will not help Adams’ chances of being drafted in the first round, by the Vikings at 35, and could even help the case for seeing the Vikes draft Matt Kalil at the three spot.
Oh, and just to continue the theme of this post: Vontaze Burfict is still an idiot.