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[Note From Adam: One of my favorite sources of Vikings analysis and opinion comes from the "Kick Ass Blog" run by Darren Campbell. Check them out often (they are on our blogroll forever)! Darren was kind enough to provide us with a guest post outlining the successes and failures experienced in the NFL Draft since Rick Spielman has been with the Vikings. Enjoy!]
Rick Spielman is in his eighth season with the Minnesota Vikings. He first joined the team as the club’s vice-president of player personnel. One of his jobs was preparing for the NFL’s college draft, which is something he continued to oversee after being named the Vikings general manager in 2012.
Up until he became GM last year, Spielman didn’t have full control over who made the Vikings roster. However, it’s fair to say he still had considerable influence on the process and over whom the team did and didn’t pick in each of the six drafts he’s been a part of.
This April’s draft will be Spielman’s seventh with the Vikings. And as it is April 1, I wanted to drill down and take a closer look at the players Minnesota has picked since 2007 and when they’ve picked them. Here is what I found.
1st round (#23 and 25th overall in 2013 draft)
Draft picks: Adrian Peterson (2007); Percy Harvin (2009); Christian Ponder (2011); Matt Kalil and Harrison Smith (2012)
Commentary: Your first round picks should be the ones you get right the majority of the time and that’s been true under Spielman. The Peterson and Harvin picks (even though things turned sour with Percy) were masterstrokes and though it’s still early, Kalil and Smith look like exceptional selections also. And let’s not forget the Vikings used their 2008 first round selection to help take defensive end Jared Allen (74 sacks in 80 games with Minnesota) off Kansas City’s hands. The only first rounder during Spielman’s tenure who looks iffy is Ponder- and this would be a huge whiff that could set the franchise back several seasons if CP7 can’t cut it as a starter. Still, given Spielman and the Vikings track record since 2007, there’s an excellent chance they will get some good players if the team keeps both the #23 and #25 overall selections. Spielman has chosen well in this round regardless of whether he’s had a top 10 pick – Peterson (#7) and Kalil (#4) -or a late first rounder like Harvin (#22) or Smith (#29).
Alright, what better way to catch up on the news and kick off Draft Month than to send you towards all of the best articles across the internet? Enjoy!
As promised, we are thanking you all for giving us our best month ever (and trying to top it) by giving away some prizes during the month of April!
The prizes are some Amazon.com gift cards, which you could use at our Fan Cave page if you wanted, or on anything you wanted at all. There are four gift cards available, with the top prize being a $25 gift card, and there are a number of ways to enter tickets.
You can gain extra entries by liking us on FaceBook or following us on Twitter. You can leave a comment. You can even add an entry every single day by simply asking the top question. Hop to it and check back often! The Drawing will take place shortly after the NFL Draft ends later this month.
Happy Easter, everyone!
I hope you are like us and taking the Holiday Weekend to spend quality time with family and friends!
Thank all of you for what has been by far our best month ever since starting up this page. We are talking three times more traffic than any other month in our history, and we appreciate each and every visitor.
Big things are planned for April, which happens to be Draft Month, and that includes a little token of our appreciation. We’ll soon be announcing the details of a giveaway prize and information on how you can win. Keep checking back.
Also, we will be picking up the pace on our Draft coverage as we endeavour to make March our second best month ever!
Enjoy the rest of your weekend, we’ll see you in the comments!
There were a few clues following the Greg Jennings signing, including the lack of a jersey presentation, that suggested the Vikings would be getting new uniforms in 2013.
The Vikings have now made it clear that new jerseys are on their way.
The team plans to reveal the new uniforms at their April 25th Draft Party and are also promoting their “Vikings Uniform Insider” campaign to help generate interest. You can learn more about the whole deal by visiting this link to the official site.
Jared Allen has said that the surgery to repair his torn labrum, which we already knew about, was the first surgery he’s had during his entire professional career. In fact, he said it was the first surgery he’s had since getting his tonsils out at the age of five.
According to Tom Pelissero, however, Allen got two surgeries done on the same day.
In addition to the torn labrum, Allen had a “minor” knee issue taken care of on the same day, and is expected to be ready for June’s minicamp.
Allen will be 31 years old in a couple of days and is entering the final year of his contract. He is set to make a base salary of $14.28 million, with a cap hit of $17.06 million, and these facts have led some to wonder if Allen could be a candidate for a contract extension or even as a trade possibility.
The free agent market this offseason has been flooded with big name veteran pass rushers, and the Draft is very talented and deep in this area, so it seems highly unlikely the Vikings would find any offers of interest on the trade market.
Allen’s age and injuries, as well as the overabundant market, may cause the Vikings to balk at the idea of giving Allen any sort of lucrative extension. An extension would surely mean they have to invest more guaranteed money into Allen, or else he would have little motivation to sign it, and the Vikings may just not feel comfortable with the idea of making such a commitment.
The idea of convincing Allen to take any sort of pay cut is laughable, considering the only reason he is a Viking in the first place was the stubborn stance he took with the Chiefs after they applied the franchise tag to him so many years ago, and he would surely have all the leverage in this situation, as well.
With Everson Griffen and Brian Robison still on the team, the Vikings could theoretically decide to release Allen and begin the process of developing younger talent, but I just don’t see that happening despite the salary cap benefits that would result in the move. Allen is a beloved figure in Minnesota and his dip in productivity last season has, by many, been attributed to his shoulder issue.
Don’t be surprised if Allen plays out his current contract, under his current salary, and then decides to test the market in 2014 when maybe defensive end options won’t be as plentiful for needy teams.