Tuesday, May 24, 2016

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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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Image courtesy of Vikings.com

With cornerback Trae Waynes and linebacker Eric Kendricks already in the fold, Rick Spielman and the Minnesota Vikings opted to trade their selection to the Kansas City Chiefs.

The Vikings moved back from #76 to #80 in exchange for pick #193 in the sixth round.

With that selection, the Kansas City Chiefs selected Georgia wide out Chris Conley.

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“I texted him right before the pick came in, and he thought I was just joking.”

That’s what newest Vikings addition Eric Kendricks said about texting his former teammate Anthony Barr that they would be reunited in Minnesota.

Kendricks and Barr each made conference calls to the Winter Park media room following Minnesota selecting Kendricks at No. 45 overall. One thing is for sure…the teammates (and UCLA roommates) are equally enthusiastic to play alongside each other once again.

“When I got the call […] it took me at least a minute to realize what was happening, where I was going, and who I was playing with,” Kendricks said. “I really felt like it was kind of disrespectful because I wasn’t saying much, but once it finally clicked, I got so happy and the rest just took off from there.”

Barr, drafted by the Vikings last year, expressed his excitement through several tweets directly after the pick was made. Barr admitted he never thought it was realistic that Kendricks would play in Minnesota, saying he never talked to Mike Zimmer or Rick Spielman about the fellow linebacker. However, he has no doubts that Kendricks is NFL-ready and will bring a huge amount of upside to Zimmer’s already-strong defense.

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