Monday, June 26, 2017

Jake Butt

Vikings Select C Pat Elflein
image via Vikings.com

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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Hawkeyes Dominate Vikings BPA Rankings

Image courtesy of Vikings.com

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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Mid-Round Sleepers for the Vikings
Image courtesy of Vikings.com

Minnesota Vikings general manager Rick Spielman has become notorious for finding mid-round steals since he took full reign as the franchise’s general manager in 2012.

A few of his ‘hits’ in the middle rounds the past few years include: Rhett Ellison, Jerick McKinnon, Danielle Hunter and Stefon Diggs.

Every draft class contains several “diamonds in the rough” that exceed their perceived stock. Whether it’s overcoming red flags or simply improving on a weakness, these players become “steals” of the draft.

Danielle Hunter is a prime example. He declared for the draft out of LSU as an extremely raw prospect who possessed Greek god-like physical tools. In just two years, he’s developed exponentially faster than anyone expected and is now perceived as one of the best young players in the NFL.

Which prospects are the Danielle Hunters of the 2017 draft class?

6 Days Until NFL Draft — About the Labor Podcast Episode 57

BJ Reidell and Drew Mahowald continue their final review of the upcoming NFL Draft with a 45-minute show talking exclusively 2017 prospects and how they may or may not correlate with the Minnesota Vikings. Episode 58 of the About the Labor Podcast puts Quarterbacks, Tight Ends, Cornerbacks and Priority Undrafted Free Agents under the microscope.

Note: Discussion centers around on BJ and Drew’s most recently updated Prospect Ranking Boards available below after the jump!

PRIMARY TALKING POINTS

  • Prospect Review: Quarterbacks
  • Prospect Review: Tight Ends
  • Prospect Review: Cornerbacks
  • “Priority Undrafted Free Agent Engagement List Agenda”

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ATL Culture: Body Odor, Breaking Chairs and Boneless Wings — Episode 44

BJ Reidell and Drew Mahowald decide to go rogue on the 44th installment of the About the Labor podcast.

PRIMARY TALKING POINTS

  • ATL Culture: Body Odor, The Great Wings Debate, Breaking Fold-Up Chairs with Authority
  • Vikings Analysis: Is Mike Zimmer a defensive genius? Or is he a product of 30 years of good players?
  • Vikings Analysis: Why does Adrian Peterson Need to Retire a Viking? Save Loyalty for Your Wife, Rick
  • Vikings Analysis: Even Kevin Durant Thinks Blair Walsh Went Too Far with is “Can’t Beat ‘Em, Join ‘Em”
  • Draft: Myles Garrett — Long Break — Bama’s Tim Williams, Vols’ Derek Barnett and Trees’ Solo Thomas
  • Draft: Bama’s OJ Howard Has a Claim for Being Best Tight End Prospect ever
  • Outro: Draft Dudes Jordan Reid and Myles Gorham Joining the ATL Party Monday — Betting Now Open

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