Monday, December 18, 2017

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The Minnesota Vikings added much-needed depth at defensive tackle this morning, selecting Iowa’s Jaleel Johnson in the fourth round (109) of the 2017 NFL Draft.

Johnson was a full-time starter in 2016, earning first-team All-Conference honors in the Big 10 after a spectacular season inside. He finished the season as the team leader in both tackles for loss (10) and sacks (7.5), a rare feat for any interior defensive lineman.

Continuing with the team’s affinity for versatile athletes, Johnson is a former high school wrestler. Like Minnesota’s second-round selection, Pat Elflein, Johnson brings the explosion, flexibility, and burst of a player with wrestling experience; something Zimmer clearly values in the trenches.

Vikings Select C Pat Elflein
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Each day following NFL Draft coverage, we’ll provide a running diary of thoughts and reflections on rounds past while looking ahead to the Minnesota Vikings’ future.

Rick Spielman Wheels and Deals

Minnesota Vikings general manager Rick Spielman was on the phone early and often Friday, putting together four trades in total to move the Vikings all over the draft.

The savvy Spielman didn’t just make trades, though. He moved up for two excellent value additions in Dalvin Cook and Pat Elflein. Slick Rick then moved down twice to regain the picks he lost in trading up.

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VT Roundtable Episode 9

After a silent opening night, general manager the Minnesota Vikings turned it up a notch on Day 2 of the 2017 NFL draft. General manager Rick “Wheelin’ and Dealin'” Spielman coordinated a handful of trades, two of which resulted in the selections of Florida State superstar Dalvin Cook and Ohio State captain Pat Elflein.

With three rounds officially in the books, the guys got together to discuss both of the Vikings’ Day 2 selections and grade the overall draft performance of the Vikings to date on Episode 9 of the VT Roundtable.

Be sure to check out Episode 9 after the jump AND subscribe to the Vikings Territory YouTube channel to keep up with ALL our video content!

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Hawkeyes Dominate Vikings BPA Rankings

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107 picks down, 146 to go.

The final day of the 2017 NFL draft has arrived and with it comes the ultimate challenge for scouting departments — find the hidden gems amidst a massive pile of rubble. This isn’t an impossible task, but it has a special way of separating good teams from champions. Behind seemingly every extended run of success is a Hall of Fame quarterback and multiple quality starters acquired on Day 3 or during undrafted free agency:

  • Pittsburgh: Antonio Brown, Martavis Bryant, James Harrison, Alejandro Villanueva, Ike Taylor
  • Seattle: Richard Sherman, Kam Chancellor, KJ Wright, Doug Baldwin, Jermaine Kearse, Malcolm Smith
  • Green Bay: Mike Daniels, Corey Linsley, Donald Driver, Al Harris, Atari Bigby, Aaron Kampman
  • Denver: Chris Harris, Jared Crick, CJ Anderson, Julius Thomas, Danny Trevathan, Malik Jackson
  • New England: Tom Brady, Julian Edelman, James White, Malcolm Butler, Rob Ninkovich, Trey Flowers

This trend has a rather simple explanation: Few teams are consistently able to find impact players during Rounds 4-7, which allows organizations that accomplish this task on an annual basis to collect talent faster and easier while being able to keep championship rosters together longer by using bargain rookie contracts.

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Pat Elflein
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After trading up in the second round to select running back Dalvin Cook, the Vikings again made moves in round three, surrendering a fifth rounder to move up nine spots and select Ohio State offensive lineman Pat Elflein.

Elflein is a three-year starter for the Buckeyes, and was named to the All-Big Ten team each season. He played both guard and center in college, and will compete for a starting job as a rookie.

Here’s what folks around the web are saying about the Vikings’ first third round pick:

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