Wednesday, November 25, 2015

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The NFL Draft is a month away and the question on the minds of Vikings fans is “What are the Vikes gonna do at #11?” Convincing arguments can be made for nearly every prospect outside of QB, so we had our man Luke Inman (@luke_spinman) of eDraft back on the show with a basic premise: If you were Rick Spielman, what would you do in these scenarios?

FTW 109 - What do you do

Spoiler: We get different answers for each — including trades — and the wild card scenario even features an Adrian Peterson trade.

Full episode after the jump! 

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Image courtesy of

We’ve hit the slowest point of the offseason, as teams are gearing up for the 2015 NFL Draft and working tirelessly to finalize their rosters following the first few weeks of free agency. At home, fans are counting down the days to April 30th, pondering Minnesota’s options with the 11th-overall pick and dreaming of a potential DeVante Parker-Teddy Bridgewater reunion (I am).

As Peter King reported in his weekly MMQB column, the Vikings spent less money in free agency than 27 other teams — $9.3 million in total on 6 players. But, the Vikings weren’t as thrifty as their neighbors in Green Bay, as the Packers spent absolutely nothing in free agency, looking to build from within and through the draft.

Let’s take a look at the rest of the NFC North and see what our division rivals have been up to:

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Division I linebackers like UCLA’s Eric Kendricks and TCU’s Paul Dawson will dominate the early draft-day conversations, but teams shouldn’t sleep on the later rounds’ small-school prospects. One in particular, Newberry’s Edmond Robinson, could be a potential steal for the Minnesota Vikings near the end of the 2015 NFL Draft.

Newberry, a Division II school in South Carolina, hasn’t seen a player drafted since 1974, when the Cardinals selected linebacker Greg Hartle in the 10th round. Currently, three former Wolves are on an NFL roster, including the Vikings’ Brandon Bostick. Robinson played with Bostick at Newberry, and spoke about the advice he’s received from his former teammates:

“They’ve been great about giving me advice and telling me how to approach certain situations. They all said that if they can make it, I can too.”

Robinson was just one of two Division II players to participate in last month’s NFL Scouting Combine, and used the week in Indianapolis to boost his draft stock.

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In the 2014 NFL draft, the Minnesota Vikings selected OG David Yankey in the fifth round with the 145th overall pick. At the time, Mike Mayock had this to say about the pick.

“This is a great fit for the Vikings. They believe in physical players and Yankey is a phone booth brawler. Trust me, I know (Vikings general manager) Rick Spielman and (head coach) Mike Zimmer, and this is the kind of player they bang the table for.”

So what went wrong? Yankey didn’t play a single snap as a rookie last season. And when starting guards Charlie Johnson and Brandon Fusco went down with injuries, it was Vladimir Ducasse, Joe Berger and Mike Harris that stepped up and earned playing time ahead of him.

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[NOTE FROM ADAM: In case you missed it, last week we introduced “Sleeper Sunday” where a few of us here at VT take a look at some under-the-radar prospects prior to May’s NFL Draft. I took a look at a strong safety candidate, Austin highlighted a cornerback, and Carl found a developmental quarterback he likes. Check it out and enjoy today’s fresh batch of sleepers.]

I’m not sure that a punter can qualify as a true “sleeper” since they aren’t really expected to be selected early on during Draft Weekend, but I have one guy in mind that I’d really like to see competing with Jeff Locke for the team’s punter spot.

That punter that I’d most like to see the Vikings chase in the latest rounds of the draft, or as an undrafted free agent, is Kansas Jayhawk Trevor Pardula.

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