Saturday, January 31, 2015
Tags Posts tagged with "justin blackmon"

justin blackmon

If you are here, then you are probably a Vikings fan.  Jerome Felton has apologized to fans for his DWI from last weekend.

Ergo, if you are reading this, then Jerome Felton has apologized to you.

Here is the full comment made by Felton on his McDonald’s DWI situation:

“Everybody on this team and in this organization has been good to me and the fans have been great.  I love it here. I can’t put myself in negative situations that don’t have a positive impact on the team and the community. That’s something that’s very important to me and I just want to sincerely apologize to the fans, No. 1, the organization and everybody around the Vikings.”

Pro football fans do not always get apologies from their players following screw ups, mainly because an apology is an admission of guilt.  Strangely, both Felton and Justin Blackmon of the Jaguars decided to proactively apologize to their teams and their fans for driving while intoxicated.

Felton is believed to have the inside track on the starting fullback position in Minnesota, but he may have a lot of work to do to gain back the trust of the coaching staff.

“We talked about some things when we got together for our first OTAs in our meetings about how we wanted to conduct ourselves,” Leslie Frazier said. “Then when a new guy comes to the club and he’s a veteran guy and something happened like it did over the weekend, it’s very disappointing. It’s something we’ll have to deal with and have to address, but you don’t want that to drown out all of the good things that some of our players are doing and what they’re doing in the community.”

Let’s assume for a second that Rick Spielman is full of you-know-what and has had his sights on Matt Kalil since December.  So, why not just come out and say so?

If this is the case, then Spielman deserves a lot of credit for successfully generating a trade market for the third overall selection despite the presumed absence of the two premier passers in this class.  If he manages to finagle a trade back and still land Kalil, then the guy is going to look like a freaking genius and many of us are going to have a whole ton of crow to eat after doubting the guy all offseason long.

So, with Andrew Luck and RGIII already off the board, what kind of trade interest might the Vikings get when they pick up their phones in the war room?  Let’s take a look.

The Vikings are, for a lack of a better phrase, blitzing the media with the contention that they are undecided as to whom they will select if they keep the third overall selection.

After weeks of Rick Spielman using the media to confuse anyone that knows how to read Head Coach Leslie Frazier has jumped into the action and is also putting forth the notion that the Vikings can justify passing on USC left tackle Matt Kalil.

“You’ve got to really weigh your options,” Frazier said in a recent interview. “Because the philosophy [in the NFL] has always been to get the game-changer. And left tackle is not necessarily the game-changer. Usually game-changers are the guys who can score you points. Receivers. Quarterbacks. So what are we measuring that left tackle against? It’s a loaded debate.”

See, and here is where I either imply that I think this is either all “smoke” or imply that I think the regime running this team is full of idiots.

It is not a loaded debate.

This is not about positional importance.  It never should have been, and it certainly shouldn’t be now.  This is about selecting the best player for your team, the prospect that your thousands of scouting hours, that you have bought and paid for, tells you is the best football player for your team.

It is that damn simple.

Spielman wants to insist that Matt Kalil, Justin Blackmon, and Morris Claiborne all have been given the exact same grades by the Vikings front office.  As someone that has seen what real scouting reports (not the kind you find on the internet) look like, I find it very, very hard to believe that these three players have the exact same grade.

The reports are far too detailed, far too personalized to get me to believe the process has identified no differences between three very different individuals.

The other day I submitted myself to the torture of re-watching the “Missing Rings” special on my DVR about the 1998 Vikings.  While watching the part where they discussed Cris Carter and all of the character issues that landed him on the open market for the Vikings to snag, I couldn’t help think about current free agent Jerome Simpson.

Simpson is by far the most talented receiver available right now, but teams are mostly acting allergic to the 26 year old after a substantial amount of marijuana in his position got him 15 days in jail and a three year probation period (and a likely NFL suspension).  Of course, one more slip up by the cart-wheeling receiver and would certainly face a major suspension.

Simpson has improved over his first four NFL seasons with the Bengals and 2011 was his best from a production standpoint.  He had 50 catches for 725 yards and four touchdowns.

After only having received a visit invitation from the St. Louis Rams, the Vikings have decided to bring Simpson in for a visit of their own on Friday.

The interest could be a signal that the Vikings don’t actually covet Justin Blackmon with the third overall pick, contrary to what Rick Spielman said yesterday.

Or, for the conspiracy theorists in the room, it could signal that Spielman actually does want Blackmon but is trying to make it appear like he doesn’t.

Or they just want to see what this kid is all about.  Plain and simple.

The Vikings as an organization are suddenly faced with very limited options when it comes to their future inside the boundaries of the State of Minnesota.

The future of the roster, however, is one week away from getting a facelift and General Manager Rick Spielman admits that his options for the third overall selection have been narrowed to three:  tackle Matt Kalil, receiver Justin Blackmon, and corner Morris Claiborne.

Some might argue that Spielman listing those three players is actually an expansion of options, considering Matt Kalil is largely viewed as the only viable prospect to select at that point.

The Pioneer Press reports that the Vikings have given equal grades to all three of these prospects and have not yet decided on who they would select should they decide to stay put and not trade backwards.

“What you’re saying (to the staff) is, ‘All these guys have equal ability,’ ” Spielman said.  “What do you want? Do you want the receiver? Do you want the tackle? Do you want the corner?’”

The Vikings plan to “run the cards” on Wednesday, which essentially means everyone involved will take part in one giant mock draft and see some of the different ways things could play out on Draft Weekend.

Personally, I find it hard to believe that the Vikings would select anyone other than Kalil third overall.  The reason is simple:  a complete lack of red flags.  So, unless Kalil scored a “4” on his Wonderlic Exam or is a closet diva that got his wrist slapped by the NCAA, it should be fairly obvious who the choice is.

Still, there are some (like Adam Schefter) who believe the Vikings will choose someone other than the popular choice that has become Kalil.  If this actually happens, be ready for water cooler chat time at the office to look more like a demolition derby if you work in the Twin Cities.

Spielman did say that he has received some preliminary calls from other teams (which quite possibly means he hasn’t at all) regarding the possibility of the Vikings trading backwards.  Spielman, however, said he would wait until Thursday night to make any sort of decision about that topic.

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