Sunday, May 3, 2015
Blog Page 8

You're on the clock, Vikings fans

Image courtesy of Vikings.com

Earlier today, Vikings general manager Rick Spielman addressed the media, offering a few insights into his plans for the 2015 NFL Draft. The usually cryptic Spielman left little to the imagination, making three points emphatically clear:

1. The 11th-overall pick is FOR SALE
2. The Vikings are not interested in an Adrian Peterson trade
3. Analytics = critical to 2015 draft planning

As mentioned in previous articles, and most recently by Ryan Boser, Spielman wants to accumulate nine or 10 total picks each year. With just seven in his pocket before the draft begins on Thursday, fans can expect Spielman to play an active role in early trade negotiations.

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The NFL Draft is ALMOST HERE, Vikings fans! *Takes a deep breathe* We’re joined by show favorite Luke Inman (@luke_spinman) of eDraft in the last few days to talk about any last second nuggets or draft developments that hasn’t already been beaten to death by the sports media (Mock Draft #78.9!) in this never ending lead up to the most exciting three days of the NFL Offseason.

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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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