Tuesday, May 3, 2016

Trae Waynes Draft

Well, Vikings fans, there you have it. With the No. 11 pick in the 2015 NFL Draft, Minnesota has selected cornerback Trae Waynes.

With Amari Cooper and Brandon Scherff off the board early (No. 4 and No. 5, respectively), lots of buzz started around who would fall to No. 11.

By the time Minnesota was on the clock, zero trades had happened in a Draft night rumored to have several of them. Plenty of Vikings fans expected GM Rick Spielman to trade down, but Slick Rick didn’t make any moves, and Waynes will don the purple and gold.

Waynes is a 2014 second-team All-American, a 2014 first-team All-Big Ten, and a 2014 Thorpe Award semifinalist. The CB played 36 games with Michigan State, making 27 consecutive starts. During that time, he tallied 101 tackles, 13 pass break-ups and six interceptions.

“[Going down the check boxes], Trae Waynes had every box we wanted when we draft a Minnesota Vikings player,” said Spielman in the post-pick presser.

The GM acknowledged the fact that they had considered trying to move lower, but the opportunity just wasn’t there.

“We did have a lot of activity come up to us, but some of the offers to trade down […] the value just wasn’t there. As much as you’d like to do some movement, when there’s a player there you covet […] not always worth it to make a trade just to make a trade.”

Spielman and head coach Mike Zimmer both emphasized that Waynes is a good fit for the Vikings scheme and has the physical traits and athleticism that Minnesota will benefit from. Zimmer said the following in his press conference:

It’s important to have guys with great character, great leadership, great competitors, and then obviously the athletic ability that [Waynes] has. Everyone says I love good cornerbacks, and I guess maybe I do—but I love good football players more than I love corners.

One knock against Waynes has been that he doesn’t have a ton of interceptions on his resume. Zimmer doesn’t see that as a problem, however. According to the coach, only the Pro Bowl is really based on how many interceptions a player gets.

“My whole mentality is how many times do you deny your guy the football?” Zimmer said. “You get a chance to do that maybe 40 times per game.”

Zimmer did acknowledge that there are a few things left wanting for Waynes, saying the CB is “a little grabby.” Waynes’ upside is invaluable, though, and the coaches feel confident that some of the negatives seen on the tape can be worked out.

And how does Waynes feel about coming to Minnesota?

He couldn’t be happier. In a conference call to Winter Park, Waynes immediately explained that Minnesota was his first visit and he had a good feeling about the Vikings from the beginning. When the No. 11 pick was approaching, he felt confident his name would be called.

Mike Zimmer is a good coach. He knows what he’s doing […] I’m diverse. I can play however he wants me to.

Emotions and excitement were clear in Waynes’ voice over the call, and it seems clear that he’s ready to start his time in the Twin Cities. He knows the skill set he has to offer will fit with Zimmer’s defense scheme, and he plans to compete for a starting position in 2015.

Welcome to the Minnesota Vikings, Trae.



Check out some of Waynes’ Michigan State highlights here:

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Image courtesy of Vikings.com

Potential Vikings targets like Brandon Scherff, Kevin White, Vic Beasley and todd Gurley were off the board when Rick Spielman and the Minnesota Vikings were first “on the clock” Thursday evening. The top ten featured a grand total of zero trades, which was largely unexpected.

With everyone desiring to trade back, and evidently little desire to move up, Rick Spielman’s “For Sale” sign turned out to be a wasted effort in terms of gaining additional picks.

Instead, the Vikings were looking at options such as Trae Waynes, Bud Dupree, Andrus Peat, Marcus Peters, and Danny Shelton as potential options.

In the end, cornerback Trae Wayne out of Michigan State was the guy selected, as expected for weeks and weeks.

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NFL Mock Draft 2015 Brent
Photo courtesy of Vikings.com

It’s everyone’s favorite day of the year!

Thousands and thousands of man hours have been dedicated to the next few days for every team in the NFL. Personally, I’ve dedicated three alone to updating this mock draft for the final time just before today’s festivities.

Though the draft is impossible to predict, this year feels absolutely futile. After Jameis Winston first overall and Marcus Mariota likely second (to who remains the question), it’s a complete mystery after that. Nevertheless, I wanted to take one last shot on the record.

This mock draft has the Vikings making a decision that’s been talked about since the beginning of the season. Sometimes maybe it’s just as simple as it seems?

Either way, check out the first five picks below and then continue to check out the full thing.

I can’t wait to hang out with everyone tonight on the Draft Live Blog page. Don’t miss it! Between Austin’s live updates, Andy’s live podcast, Lindsey’s live tweets from Winter Park and much more, we’ll have it all covered from pick number one to Mr. Irrelevant.

 Tampa Bay Logo
1. Tampa Bay (2-14) // Jameis Winston, QB – Florida State

Winston represents the best opportunity to provide the Buccaneers with a franchise quarterback. I say opportunity because Winston is not a sure bet. But despite character concerns being an issue, Winston has the physical attributes to compete at the next level and has the highest ceiling for a quarterback in this class.

 Tennessee Titans Logo
 2. Tennessee (2-14) // Marcus Mariota, QB – Oregon

Part of me says Tennessee will choose to stick with Zach Mettenberger. The other part says Tennessee, or another team at this spot, will take a shot on Mariota. The Titans have done a good job of keeping their intentions unknown in order to maximize potential trade value of their pick. 

 Jacksonville Jaguars Logo
3.  Jacksonville (3-13) // Dante Fowler, Edge – Florida

The Jaguars, who had the least amount of quarterback pressures in 2014, could use an elite prospect that can get after opposing signal callers. Fowler is a sack artist who would fit right in on the Jaguar’s defensive line.

Oakland Raiders Logo
 4. Oakland (3-13) // Leonard Williams, IDL – USC

Interior defensive linemen are quickly becoming one of the most important positions on defense. Pressure from the middle severely hampers quarterback play and is a very effective way to disrupt pass-happy offenses. Leonard Williams, the best prospect in the draft and an elite talent inside could contribute greatly to the Raiders defense.

 Washington Redskins Logo
 5. Washington (4-12) // Amari Cooper, WR – Alabama

Though wide receiver isn’t Washington’s biggest need, Cooper makes sense for the Redskins. Despite Washington’s wide receiver corps being very expensive, they don’t have any elite talent. Pierre Garcon is an above average talent, he is not a top-10 wide receiver and is overpaid. Washington is not going to be contending anytime soon and Cooper could be the core of Washington’s wide receiver group moving forward.


Brett's First 2015 Mock Draft


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Anyone following the Vikings presser with Rick Spielman before the draft as he previewed (or refused to preview) the Minnesota draft plan for 2015 probably caught the word “analytics” a few times, a discussion that came up as a result of one line of a nine minute prepared statement he provided the press.

We’ll see the results of that kind of approach today and in the next few days of the draft. There’s a very real possibility that because of the results of research finished “this year” on how to approach the draft, that the past three years are not in fact a good guide into how Spielman will take on this year’s draft.

We know him as a wheeler and dealer, but if research has found that the top of the second is better than the bottom of the first, we may see a different trend.

But there’s so much more potentially at stake.

Adrian Peterson

We don’t want to beat the Adrian Peterson situation to death, and there have certainly been plenty of headlines surrounding the running back and Minnesota’s desire—or lack thereof–to trade him. At this point, it seems that GM Rick Spielman does not plan to deal Adrian Peterson. But is it all a smoke screen from Slick Rick?

This morning, Cris Carter may have “let the beans out of the bag” in regards to Peterson and where he will play the 2015 season. The former Vikings wide receiver said the following:

I’m under a gag order on the Adrian Peterson situation. But I believe something’s gonna happen. But I can’t talk about it.

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