Saturday, December 10, 2016

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Vikings Players Address the Media
Image courtesy of Vikings.com

Blink and you’ll miss it, but the Minnesota Vikings have been training at Winter Park for over a week now. Lost in the hype for the 2016 NFL Draft is the fact that Vikings players are right in the swing of the annual offseason training program. And today, a handful of names — new and old — spoke to the media for the first time in months.

The hot topic was general manager Rick Spielman’s assertion that the Vikings could deal their first-round selection, the 23rd-overall pick, once the draft begins on Thursday. According to Spielman, two teams have already called about moving up, but the decision to trade likely won’t be made until Minnesota is actually on the clock.

Let’s rewind, though. The draft is less than 48 hours away, and we’re talking about players who aren’t even on the roster yet. For the Vikings currently working out in Winter Park, the offseason  presents an opportunity to focus on improvements and speculate on a potentially exciting future. After a long hiatus from the spotlight, what were some of the best comments from earlier today?

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The latest Vikings draft rumors have them targeting Josh Doctson.

The draftnik community seems to recognize the Minnesota Vikings could go in a number of directions on Draft Weekend, but they are seemingly all hedging their bets towards a wide out being selected first. That speculation includes the most recent mock drafts posted by our staff here at Vikings Territory.

That speculation has been mainly narrowed down to two names: Laquon Treadwell and Josh Doctson.

We have discussed these two players at length on this site, including our recent “Question of the Week” segment focusing on which wide out our staff prefers in the first round.

The most recent rumors, courtesy of Matt Miller’s report at Bleacher Report, cites a Vikings scout as saying the team prefers Doctson over Treadwell.

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Yes, this includes "best player available."

Image courtesy Vikings.com

It’s draft week, and as we march gleefully toward the first round on Thursday evening, most of us have an opinion on what the Vikings should do with pick number 23. As I’ve been compiling mock draft roundups and reading a wide spectrum of theories and viewpoints, certain “conventional draft wisdoms” keep popping up. Some of them valid—Mike Zimmer likes lanky, fast defensive players, for example—some of them less so. And these less valid conventional wisdoms can often morph into draft myths, repeated year after year and anointed as NFL Draft gospel, despite their questionable legitimacy. Here are three of those myths, and the truth for each one:

Myth 1: Best player available.

The Truth: This is far and away the greatest NFL Draft myth: a good GM will select the best player available when his team picks in the first round, regardless of position or other considerations. It is repeated far and wide by anyone and everyone in NFL front offices, sprayed in the direction of reporters at draft-related press conferences, and leaned on as a crutch when team officials (understandably) try to avoid giving any real information on what the team might do on draft day. “Best player available,” they say with a shrug, because why would a competent personnel director do anything other than get the best possible talent for his team?

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mock draft

As many Purple FTW! listeners know, I only do one mock draft a year. Mostly due to my lack of expertise and the rest is due to apathy, but it’s Draft week! And as Rick Spielman prepares to be the stone cold boss of the Vikings War Room (probably with one-handed pushups), I offer these humble suggestions for potential prospects straight from my weak and feeble fan brain.

The WTH is Andy Thinking? Picks Are:
1. (23) Josh Doctson, WR TCU – 6-2 202
1. (30)* Karl Joseph, S West Virginia – 5-10 205 (via CAR)
3. (86) Jaylon Smith, OLB Notre Dame – 6-2 233
5. (160) Drew Kaser, P Texas A&M – 6-2 212
7. (240) Moritz Wilhelm Boehringer, WR Germany – 6-4 227 (via BUF)
7. (244) Keith Marshall, RB Georgia – 5-11 219
7. (252)* Justin Zimmer, DT Ferris State – 6-3 292 (via CAR)
*Carolina trades their 1st (30) and 7th (252) for Minnesota’s 2nd (54), 4th (121) and 6th (180)

All that and other “Big Upside” nonsense on this edition of the Purple FTW! Podcast.

An Andy Carlson Joint

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Image courtesy of Vikings.com

As with any rule in the NFL, including the one that tells us what is and isn’t a catch, there are plenty of exceptions to the rule that says “character matters” when a front office decides to add a player to their roster.

Vikings fans are plenty familiar with exceptions to this rule. In modern history you can point to guys like Cris Carter, Randy Moss, Jared Allen, and even current Viking Everson Griffen as examples of young men that were able to overcome their early personal struggles to make a significant impact at the NFL level.

Despite all of those exceptions, however, NFL teams expend many resources to try and figure out what exactly exists between the ears of hundreds prospective players. The idea is that a player that is successful off the field is more likely to be successful on it.

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