Thursday, May 5, 2016

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Heading into Day Three of the 2015 NFL Draft, Rick Spielman and the Minnesota Vikings had three new defenders in the fold and six picks remaining. The first pick of the day, number 110 in the fourth round, was used to select Pittsburgh right tackle T.J. Clemmings.

Clemmings stands at 6′ 5″ and 309 pounds and screams value this far into Draft weekend. He was largely considered a first round prospect, or second round in some cases, but it will be interesting to see how he fits into the Vikings current depth chart.

A former basketball player and defensive end, Clemmings has the physical tools to become a great NFL blocker, but is expected to need time to develop his skill set.

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mock draft roundup
Image courtesy of Vikings.com

Here are just a few of my takeaways from the first two nights of the 2015 NFL Draft. 

  • Many people expected NFC North rival Chicago to pick up a cornerback or wide receiver, and the Bears followed through by selecting WR Kevin White out of West Virginia. As Draft analysts pointed out, the only question now is if Jay Cutler can capitalize on him.
  • The theme around the 2015 NFL Draft seemed to be trading up or down, but the first trade didn’t happen until San Diego traded up from No. 17 to get RB Melvin Gordon.
  • The first questionable/surprise pick came at No. 9 when the New York Giants selected OL Ereck Flowers. I expected them to grab CB Trae Waynes at that point, and I don’t know that Flowers will pan out to be a top-10 pick.

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In an afternoon press conference, GM Rick Spielman assured Winter Park media members that Friday night promised a lot more movement than the oddly quiet Day 1.

As expected, Trader Rick went into action.

The Vikings did stick with their No. 45 slot and grabbed Anthony Barr’s former teammate, UCLA linebacker Eric Kendricks. In the third round, however, Minnesota traded their No. 76 spot… twice. First to Kansas City to drop down to No. 80, then to Dallas to drop to No. 88. At that point, the Vikings drafted defensive end Danielle (Duh-Neal) Hunter.

Spielman said later that they did look at trying to trade up, but the transaction didn’t go through. At that point, they looked to accumulate more picks for Day 3.

“We feel there’s a lot of depth [remaining],” Spielman said. “We’ll be able to get a lot of good football players.”

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Rick Spielman traded not once, but twice, in the third round of the 2015 NFL Draft.

After doing deal with Kansas City and then Detroit, getting two Day Three picks richer, Spielman finally decided to select a player in the third round.

Somewhat amazingly, the Vikings selected their third consecutive defensive player of the weekend, flat out ignoring the offensive side of the ball thus far.

That pick turned out to be defensive end Danielle Hunter out of LSU.

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Image courtesy of Vikings.com

The Vikings stayed put with their first two picks, selecting cornerbacks Trae Waynes and linebacker Eric Kendricks, but they slid back a few spots before moving backwards once again.

By dropping from pick #80 to pick #88, the Vikings were able to secure the #143 overall selection in the fifth round.

Rick Spielman, who openly admits to wanting 10 draft selections every year, seems content to move backwards in baby steps and let the board fall to him a little later on in the weekend.

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