Friday, May 6, 2016

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Vikings 2016 Draft Party
Image courtesy of Vikings.com

Rick Spielman’s curriculum vitae grew a bit during the 2016 NFL Draft where he again presided over the Minnesota Vikings as the team’s General Manager. Not only did he become the first to select a European player that has never played in America, Germany’s Mortiz Boehringer, but Boehringer also became the first 2016 rookie to sign his initial contract.

Some skeptics (like myself) wonder if the selection of the German wide out didn’t have more to do with expanding the franchise’s business market than it did actual on-field opportunity, but it is a fun storyline regardless of future success, so there are no complaints here.

Spielman made another move on Draft Weekend, however, that cannot be denied of its value and puts him in a position to again make NFL history.

Image courtesy of Vikings.com

As a whole, the Minnesota Vikings 2016 draft class is getting positive enough marks from the fan base, as evidenced by our totally scientific polling features from this weekend.  If our readers had any reservations about the choices made by the Vikings it seemed to center around the players they didn’t take.

One theme that bordered on trend throughout the three-day event was the conversation centering on players that were selected directly in front of the Vikings, or directly after, and how a significant portion of the fans seemed to covet those players to a great degree.

For this week’s “Poll of the Week” feature I thought it would be fun to actually compare and contrast three different sets of draft classes.

  1. The players selected by the Vikings.
  2. The players selected right before each Vikings pick.
  3. The players selected right after each Vikings pick.

At the very least, it will be interesting to note if either class is actually found to be preferable to the real Minnesota Vikings 2016 draft class.

Sign German WR Moritz Boehringer
Image courtesy of Vikings.com

Moritz Boehringer is learning that life moves quickly in America. The Minnesota Vikings’ newest wide receiver was drafted in the sixth round on Saturday, fielded questions from reporters on Sunday, and found himself at Winter Park on Monday. There, he became the first 2016 NFL Draft pick to sign a contract.

According to Chris Tomasson of the Pioneer Press, the German receiver signed a four-year, $2.49 million deal, which includes a $150,420 signing bonus. He isn’t just the first rookie to sign a contract; he’s also the first ever rookie to be drafted directly from Europe.

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Vikings Announce 2016 Undrafted Free Agents
Image courtesy of Vikings.com

Minnesota Vikings like Matt Asiata, Marcus Sherels, and Adam Thielen entered the league as undrafted free agents, but they’ve still managed to make meaningful contributions on the field. Despite the glamour that comes with being a first, second, or even third round selection, sometimes it’s the lesser-known names who play the most important roles for a team.

Last year, quarterback Tyler Heinicke and safety Anthony Harris made the final 53-man roster as such players. This morning, the Vikings announced the 2016 class of rookie free agent signings, which includes a handful of offensive skill players, cornerbacks, and a familiar face at quarterback.

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Cordarrelle Patterson's option NOT picked up

Vikings Keep Rhodes, Floyd through 2017
Image courtesy of Vikings.com

The Minnesota Vikings had until the end of today to exercise the fifth-year option on their three 2013 first round picks. Rather than wait until the deadline, though, the Vikings locked up two of the three, keeping a couple of Mike Zimmer’s key defenders in Minnesota through 2017.

According to NFL Network’s Ian Rapoport, the Vikings picked up the fifth-year options on defensive tackle Sharrif Floyd and cornerback Xavier Rhodes, who were taken with the 23rd and 25th picks in the 2013 NFL Draft. Floyd originally posted an ambiguous tweet indicating some good news, and Adam Caplan was the first to report the decision on Rhodes, per Rhodes’s agent.

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