Sunday, May 29, 2016

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Rick Spielman

Vikings general manager Rick Spielman was beyond aggressive in selling the 11th overall pick in the draft to other teams in a presser he held today to discuss Minnesota’s plan for the NFL draft.

With a weak commitment to actually selecting a player at the 11th pick, Spielman largely talked about the favorable market for the 11th pick in a number of ways.

“The 11th pick is very appealing as a potential trade spot,” Spielman remarked. “The 5th-year option decreases dramatically after the first ten picks.”

The Comprehensive Bargaining Agreement, ratified between the NFL and NFLPA in 2011, spells out fifth-year player option prices for the first round of the draft. Picks 1-10 (like Matt Kalil) will receive the franchise tag amount for their position if their fifth-year option is picked up—a one-year payout equaling the average salary for the top-ten highest paid players at their position.

After that tenth pick, the fifth-year option only costs teams the average of the third- through 25th-highest paid players at the position.

“I’m looking forward to moving out of that pick if possible. I don’t see us moving up.”

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With only two days remaining until the NFL Draft, there is more and more speculation about who the Vikings will select at No. 11 (unless of course, they trade up or down). Let’s take a look at some of the notable No. 11 picks throughout the league’s history.

Michael Irvin, WR, 1988
As a rookie,  Michael Irvin became the first freshman receiver for Dallas to start a game in 20 years; he caught his first touchdown that same game. Irvin helped the Cowboys out of a slump, and in 1991 he led the team to the playoffs, finishing the season with 93 catches, an NFL-best 1,523 yards and eight TDs. The receiver played in five consecutive Pro Bowls. During Irvin’s career, Dallas won three Super Bowls: XXVII (Bills), XXVIII (Pittsburgh) and XXX (Steelers).

Irvin’s best season was 1995, in which he set Cowboys records for receiving yards (1,603) and receptions (111).

Daunte Culpepper, QB, 1999
Remember him? As Vikings fans, we’ll probably never forget “the roll” when Daunte Culpepper threw for touchdowns. The QB didn’t prove an instant success, as he did struggle during his first few seasons in Minnesota.

His first highlight season of course came in 2004, when he led the Vikings to the playoffs for the second time in his career. Culpepper threw for a league-leading 4,717 yards and set a Vikings record with 39 touch downs. That same year, he traveled to his third career Pro Bowl and broke Dan Marino’s NFL record for combined passing and rushing yards, totaling 5,123. Culpepper ranks fourth best in NFL QBs with his rushing average of 26.1 yards per game.

Image courtesy of Vikings.com

The big moment is almost here; in less than three days, the 2015 NFL Draft will kick off at the Auditorium Theatre in windy Chicago.

Knowing Vikings general manager Rick Spielman, the trade winds have been blowing steadily in Winter Park. If we’re to believe past draft trends, “Slick Rick” will snake and slither his way to nine or 10 total picks in 2015, adding to his current total of seven.

Accumulating young talent through the draft is key to staying competitive in a talented NFC North — the Packers and Lions reached the playoffs last year. Both teams select after the Vikings (30th and 23rd, respectively), and the rebuilding Bears have a chance to improve immediately with the 7th-overall selection.

Below, we’ll look at each team in the context of Mel Kiper Jr. and Todd McShay’s most recent mock draft, which aired on ESPN late last week:

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General Manager Rick Spielman and the Minnesota Vikings haven’t been shy about selecting tandem players from the same college team in the same draft class in past history. In 2012, Spielman selected Harrison Smith and Robert Blanton from Notre Dame, Matt Kalil and Rhett Ellison from USC, and Jarius Wright and Greg Childs from Arkansas. The list continued in 2013 when the Vikings drafted Xavier Rhodes and Everett Dawkins from Florida State, Jeff Locke and Jeff Baca from UCLA, and Gerald Hodges and Michael Mauti from Penn State. Last year however, the pattern was broken as the Vikings strategy didn’t include any “doubling up” from the same team.

To make up for missing the mark in that regard a year ago, may I have some fun and suggest Spielman think about selecting three players from one team this weekend; specifically targeting the Georgia Bulldogs?

Here is my triple play mock lineup.

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SPOILER: The Vikings End Up with THREE First Round Picks 

Everyone and their mother is on “MOCK DRAFT 79.8!”, but we here at Purple FTW are back with our 2nd Annual “Only Mock Draft! (v1.0)”. Check out how we did last year. We we’re all in on Teddy (took him at #8), so it was a massive win for the Vikings to grab both him AND Barr in the 1st. We whiffed on all the other picks. #YOLO

Enjoy this year’s Only Mock Draft. A full rundown will be posted in a few days because… We want you to listen first! (SPOILER: There are trades. Because Slick Rick gets busy at the Draft like me at Popeyes chicken. #Biscuits)

All that and more on this edition of the Purple FTW! Podcast! An Andy Carlson Joint.

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