Monday, October 23, 2017

There will be a Vikings trade in Day 2.

I think Spielman showed yesterday that he his not afraid to move around and make risky moves to get the players he wants. While moving up to grab Harrison Smith at the end of the first round yesterday may have been made easier after acquiring extra picks through the trade with the Cleveland Browns, it is likely that Spielman would have still made that trade anyway. The Vikings still had 10 picks in the draft before this thing even got started. That’s plenty of ammo to wheel and deal.

When asked about the trades he orchestrated on Vikings announcer Paul Allen’s KFAN radio show this morning, Spielman (unprompted) suggested the team may move again in Day 2. “Don’t be surprised with that third round pick if we move back up in to the second round to get a player we covet.” Spielman also suggested that it’s possible the team could even move back again to collect more picks.

Headed into Day 2, the Vikings still have ten draft picks, seven eight of which can be traded. I expect that we will see the Vikings move around again before the day is over.

The Vikings will add a wide receiver to the roster in Day 2.

There are some great wide receivers that fell out of the first round which could mean great things for the Vikings in Day 2. Having already addressed two of our biggest needs (left tackle and safety) with great players, I expect the Vikings to use their next pick, wherever it may be, to add another weapon to the roster for Christian Ponder.

Spielman has publicly stated that the team wants to simply stick to their board and select the best player available when they’re on the clock. That may be true, but players at positions of need tend to move up on your board because your desire to fill that spot can tend to bolster how you evaluate them. I imagine there are quite a few wide receivers still available that could be pretty high up on the Vikings board. Whether the Vikings stay put or they move forward or backward, expect the next pick to be a receiver.

Players to watch.

If the Vikings stay where they are and select with the third pick in the third round, here are some names to keep an eye on at various positions of need that could be available.

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Wide Receiver:

Mohamed Sanu
Juron Criner
Marvin Jones
(It would be amazing if someone like Stephen Hill, Reuben Randle or Alshon Jeffery somehow fell, but that is highly unlikely)

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Cornerback:

Janoris Jenkins
Alfonzo Dennard
Jayron Hosley
Josh Robinson

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Defensive Tackle:

Kendall Reyes
Alameda Ta’amu
Jared Crick

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Safety:

Antonio Allen

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The first three picks of the second round.

The credibility of my mock draft was absolutely destroyed yesterday after all of the trades. Granted, you can’t predict all the trades, especially when they take place at the magnitude they did yesterday. But typically, there are one to two trades and you have a fair chance of hitting on the other selections. Not my mock draft! I only had four selections correct… And two of them were the obvious Luck and Griffin picks. (Which, honestly, shouldn’t even count). With that being said, here’s my prediction for the first three picks of the second round. I am 90% sure that this is 65% likely to happen.

St. Louis Rams – Stephen Hill, WR, Georgia Tech

The Rams missed out on Justin Blackmon when the Jaguars moved ahead of them through their trade with the Buccaneers. They won’t miss out this time on a potential #1 receiver who will provide an aerial threat for Sam Bradford. Personally, I would have loved to add Stephen Hill. Luckily though, this draft is ripe with talent at that position and we will have plenty of opportunities with our plethora of picks to address the need. They could also take Jonathan Martin to provide some protection for Bradford’s blind side.

Indianapolis Colts – Coby Fleener, TE, Stanford

A tight end is a young, rookie quarterback’s best friend. The fact that Andrew Luck and Coby Fleener already have a strong connection through playing together at Stanford only sweetens the deal.

Baltimore Ravens – Jonathan Martin, LT, Stanford

This is the hardest to predict of the first three selections and it will be interesting to see what the Ravens do with the pick they got from us. My gut feeling is that the Ravens choose to take Jonathan Martin, who I never thought would fall out of the first round. We have Martin as the second best offensive tackle on our Vikings Territory board and the Ravens need somebody who can replace the aging, record label CEO Bryant McKinnie. My “Plan B” here is that the Ravens take the best center in the draft, Peter Konz, to replace ex-Viking Matt Birk after he retires.

Make sure to join us today for our Day 2 Live Chat. Yesterday was a blast and today should be just as exciting. Plus, if you hang out in the chat, you can make fun of me when I’m inevitably wrong about all of the above.

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Here we are, Day Two of the NFL Draft!

The Vikings entered the first round armed with 10 picks.  They have now expectedly upgrade the left tackle, safety, and arguably left guard position and still have 10 picks to spend.  As a result, I have three questions I want to ask each of you.

 

 

Jared Allen couldn’t possibly mean more to this organization than he did at the end of the 2011 season, right?

Wrong.

The Vikings say they are excited about using Allen not only as a veteran mentor, but as the fiercest of practice dummies, with hopes that Matt Kalil will get better quicker by having to face Allen every day in practice.

“One of the good things about Matt coming to our team is he’ll get a chance to face arguably the best defensive end in the National Football League day in and day out in practice,” Leslie Frazier said on Thursday. “That’s going to be a great part of his prep in getting him prepared for what he’s going to see on Sunday afternoons.”

Rick Spielman also acknowledged that Allen’s presence on the practice field should only make Kalil better prepared, and Kalil himself sounds ready for the task.

“The competitor I am, I know that Jared will help make me a great player. Especially the division the Vikings are in – with the Chicago Bears and going against Julius Peppers plus my old teammate, Clay Matthews, going against him in Green Bay. It’s definitely a league of great pass rushers and great defensive ends. So it’s going to be good going against the greatest defensive end in the NFL in Jared Allen. I’m very excited for that.”

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Despite all of the Draft excitement and stadium drama, we would be remiss if we neglected to update you on of this offseason’s other most important storylines.

On Tuesday, Leslie Frazier gave us an update on the progress of Adrian Peterson following his December 30th knee surgery.

“He’s doing great. He’s been here throughout this week and had a chance to run with our players on Tuesday,” Frazier said of Peterson. “He was off to the side working with our trainer, Eric Sugarman, and he looked out and saw the guys doing their wind sprints and he said, ‘You know, I don’t think they’re running hard enough.’ Eric allowed him to go out and run with them and he passed them four different times. He finished in first four different times. I remember Joe Webb saying, ‘I can’t believe it. I just can’t believe it.’ He’s doing great and we’re optimistic that he’s going to be ready for that first game. I know that’s his goal and we’ll just see how he continues to progress, but he’s doing great.”

“He’s begun some cutting, but that’s the next step. He has to get to the point where he’s comfortable cutting. Straight ahead he’s doing great,” Frazier said. “Now he has to get to the point where he’s comfortable with being able to go left to right or right to left and stopping and starting. One step at a time. Right now it’s cutting.”

In addition to the Peterson update, Frazier also pointed out that Percy Harvin’s shoulder surgery went well and that Harvin is at home recovering.  Harvin is almost certain to be ready to go for OTA’s.

Frazier also expressed excitement about the team’s attendance at their offseason conditioning program.  Three players are missing, one of which is Jared Allen, but it sounds like there is nothing to be concerned about there.

A quick look at what our NFC North foes did on Day One of the NFL Draft:

CHICAGO BEARS

The Bears owned the 19th pick and, despite the presence of Julius Peppers, decided that pass rusher Shea McClellin was their guy.  With the incredible offensive line talent that was available at that time, I was a bit surprised to see Chicago choose a defensive end that many argue wasn’t even the best guy available at his position.  Meanwhile Chicago’s miserable offensive line is still, well, miserable.  Even so, it is hard to argue with a pass rusher considering that they too have to play Aaron Rodgers and Matt Stafford multiple times each year.

DETROIT LIONS

After years of harping from the media and some fans, the Lions may have finally invested into Stafford’s health by investing significantly into the tackle position.  Iowa tackle Riley Reiff was an incredible value for the Lions and Jeff Backus should finally be replaced for good with this addition.  Great pick for the Lions who just seem to get better and better under their new regime.

GREEN BAY PACKERS

By taking USC pass rusher Nick Perry, the Packers may have finally found a consistent compliment to Clay Matthews, and NFC North quarterbacks are surely taking note.  Perry was not widely regarded as a 3-4 type of player, but I think he has all the tools to be just fine no matter what the scheme.  It will be interesting, as the years to go by, to see the Pack ends up regretting their decision to pass on Harrison Smith and allow the Vikings to move up and snag him with the next pick.

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