Wednesday, December 7, 2016

percy harvin

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Thankful for a Minnesota Vikings Win
Image courtesy of Vikings.com

1. Happy early Thanksgiving, friends.

Thanksgiving came a little early for the Minnesota Vikings and their fans. Following Sunday’s roller coaster of a victory over the Arizona Cardinals, the thought of Thanksgiving dinner on Thursday night got that much more delicious.

While I’m thankful for the win — six weeks in the making — I’m not ready to sit down at the dinner table just yet. Sure, the Vikings are 6-4 and tied for first place in the NFC North, but their co-champions are gearing up for what’s likely the team’s most significant game of the season.

Thursday morning, as we prep the turkey, loosen the sweatpants and enjoy the company of our loved ones, the Detroit Lions will try to sweep the Vikings for the second time in three years. Minnesota enters Week 12 having skirted a five-game losing streak, while the Lions are enjoying their own two-game series of wins.

As Vikings fans, we deserve to savor yesterday’s “W.” The defense came back to life with four sacks, Sam Bradford played another relatively clean game, and Mike Zimmer’s crew put together an impressive display of  “team football.”

This is only the appetizer of what could be a satisfying full-course meal on Thursday.

And on a side note, since it is that time of the year, thank you. Thank you for being such loyal readers, followers, and fans of this crazy, wonderful team. You make writing here a joy, and I’m thankful to call Vikings Territory home.

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Looking back on 10 years of Rick Spielman

Spielman's best and worst moves
Image courtesy of Vikings.com

(Note: This is a two-part series. The first part focuses on Spielman’s best moves. Part two, an analysis of the worst moves, will be posted tomorrow.)

Earlier this week marked the 10-year anniversary of Rick Spielman joining the Minnesota Vikings. Spielman’s job has evolved over time—he was initially hired as the Vice President of Player Personnel in 2006, replacing the short-tenured Fran Foley in the Vikings’ “Triangle of Authority,” and in 2012 was promoted to General Manager and has acted as the single voice for all football matters since then. Ten years is more than enough time to make your mark on a franchise, so we (okay, technically it was Brett’s idea) thought it would be good to look back on some of Spielman’s best an worst moves at the helm.

Since he didn’t assume full control until 2012, attributing transactions prior to that year directly to Spielman is a cloudy proposition; indeed, it was exceedingly difficult to pin down who exactly in that infamous triangle was calling the shots from 2006-2012. But we can rely on educated guesses to navigate those years, and the assumption is that most football personnel moves have had Spielman’s fingerprints on them since he arrived in town. If conventional wisdom indicates a particular decision was made outside of his control, I’ll note that and categorize accordingly.

Our first installment of this two-part series looks back at Rick Spielman’s best moves.

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Image courtesy of Vikings.com

Dear William Percival Harvin III,

Your time with the Minnesota Vikings was greatly appreciated by at least some of the team’s fans. On behalf of those fans, there are a few accomplishments that you should be thanked for.

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A Pharoh Cooper scouting report with a Minnesota Vikings focus.

[This Pharoh Cooper Scouting Report, with a Vikings slant, has been provided to Vikings Territory by Draft Season. Be sure to check back for more and also be sure to visit Draft Season to quench your NFL Draft thirst. All previously published scouting reports can be found by clicking here.]

Pharoh Cooper | WR, South Carolina

Measurements

Height – 5’11”
Weight – 203 lbs.
Age – 21 yrs.

At First Glance

2015 All-SEC First Team

Projected Round:

2nd – 3rd Round

Ranking the Vikings first round selections

[Note: This reflection on the Vikings’ success in the first round of the most recent decade’s worth of drafts is provided courtesy of Matt Falk from Draft Season. We highly recommend checking out their site for scouting reports of this year’s top prospects with a Vikings slant.]

Over the past 10 years, the Vikings have done a decent job finding talent in the first round of the NFL Draft. While they’ve have had their share of big misses, they’ve also hit on some stars along the way.

Let’s take a quick look back and attempt to rank them from worst to best.

#12 – 2011 – Christian Ponder QB, Florida St. (12th overall)

It’s hard to not feel bad for Ponder. He really never should of have been the 12th overall pick. Due to where he was selected, fans had some unrealistic expectations. Unsurprisingly, Ponder never panned out and struggled through a rocky four years in Minnesota. You’ve, gotta give the guy credit though; he acted like a true professional during his time in Minnesota.

#11 – 2013 – Cordarrelle Patterson WR, Tennessee (29th overall)

Patterson toyed with our emotions during his big rookie season, but has been in a nose dive ever since. While he’s still one of the most dangerous return men in the league, he adds absolutely nothing to the team as a wide receiver. Unless he has a huge turnaround, we won’t be seeing him on the field with the offense, except in August. For now, we’ll just have to get excited when he gets the chance to return a kick.

#10 – 2015 – Trae Waynes (11th overall)

The only reason Waynes is so low on the list is because it’s much too soon to know what we really have in the Michigan State cornerback. He barely saw the field as a rookie, but did show some flashes (along with some growing pains). I would feel confident saying that in a few years, we could see him bumping up at least a few spots on this same list.

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