Friday, May 6, 2016

Rick Spielman

Bad first round picks for the Vikings
Image courtesy of Vikings.com

The first round of the NFL Draft is a marquee of top prospects and college football’s best players. Over the past five years, the Minnesota Vikings have taken advantage of the talent pool, selecting nine players in the first round since 2011. And while most of those picks have been successful for general manager Rick Spielman, some failed to pan out. Names like Christian Ponder and Cordarrelle Patterson come to mind, if only because the price Spielman paid doesn’t match the return on investment.

Ponder was the 12th-overall pick in the 2011 NFL Draft, while Patterson went 29th-overall in 2013 behind a trade that sent four Vikings draft picks to the New England Patriots. Minnesota can’t afford to make a similar mistake this year, especially when tantalizing names like Jaylon Smith and Josh Doctson may be available when the Vikings select 23rd-overall. But other, more trendy players may fall; players the Vikings shouldn’t draft in the first round. Who are they? Well, I asked the VT Team, and the answers may surprise you!

Who is one player you DO NOT want the Vikings to draft in the first round?

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Luke Inman (@Luke_Spinman) is back in Minnesota after his Senior Bowl adventure. We recap who made some cheddar over the weekend and who still has work to do. Also we jump into what’s next in the draft process. Pro Days, the Combine, and grinding all. Of. The. Tape.

All that and other “Late Riser” nonsense on this edition of the Purple FTW! Podcast.

An Andy Carlson Joint

Hit up all of Luke’s stuff at eDraft and Cold Omaha.

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The theme of today’s Sleeper Sunday is Big-10 football. This morning, Carl introduced readers to Wisconsin strong safety Michael Caputo. He’s a physical member of the Badgers secondary with a style of play and frame similar to that of Harrison Smith. Now, a look at one of the conference’s best-kept secrets; Indiana running back Jordan Howard.

Jordan Howard — RB, Indiana

Measurements

Height – 6’1″
Weight – 230 lbs.
Age – 21

At First Glance

As a first-year player at Indiana, the junior rushed for 1,213 yards and 10 touchdowns in 2015. Howard was named to the First Team All-Big Ten after the season and was a member of the Doak Walker Award and Maxwell Award Watch Lists. He caught 11 passes for 106 yards for a touchdown and also finished second in the conference with 134.8 rushing yards per game.

Before the 2015 season, Howard had spent two seasons a the University of Alabama at Birmingham (UAB). A two-star recruit in 2013, the Alabama native opted to stay in-state for his collegiate career. There, he rushed for nearly 2,500 yards and scored 15 touchdowns on the ground. In November 2014, UAB disbanded it’s football program and left Howard without a home. Fortunately, other Division 1 schools had kept an eye on the productive running back. With his pick of more than 20 programs, Howard made the decision to replace Tevin Coleman in Indiana. That choice appears to have been the right one.

“I think a lot of us, me and my former teammates we realize it was kind of like a blessing in disguise,” Howard said in October. “It gave us an opportunity to be more in the spotlight and show we can play on any type of level.”

defensive unrestricted free agents
Image courtesy of Vikings.com

If anyone knows about winning, it’s legendary Alabama Crimson Tide coach Bear Bryant. In 25 seasons at the head of the football program, Bryant won 232 games and hoisted six national championship trophies. It’s no surprise, then, that Bryant is credited with the famous quote: “Offense sells tickets, but defense wins championships.”

And in Minnesota, Mike Zimmer’s following that same formula. The Vikings may not have won the Super Bowl this year, but they rode a top-five defense to an 11-5 record and the NFC North division title. They’re set up for long-term success, especially on defense, where a number of key players are in their first or second year with the team. A few of those contributors, though, are set to become unrestricted free agents in March.

Playing the role of general manager Rick Spielman, the Vikings Territory team analyzed the players and picked one as their highest priority to re-sign this offseason.

Which defensive unrestricted free agent should be the highest priority for the Vikings to re-sign?

  • Chad Greenway
  • Terence Newman
  • Josh Robinson
  • Robert Blanton
  • Marcus Sherels
  • Andrew Sendejo

  • Audie Cole
  • Casey Matthews
  • Kenrick Ellis
  • Jason Trusnik
  • Justin Trattou

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With the Senior Bowl off and running, we had our intrepid reporter/draft guru/all-around baws Luke Inman (@Luke_Spinman) call and and give us a live update from Mobile. We chatted about the goings on during weigh-ins and practices, which draftees are earning some money down there this week (and who is losing some), and an interesting story about Vikings defensive backs coach Jerry Gray.

All that and other “Braxton. Effin. Miller” nonsense on this edition of the Purple FTW! Podcast.

An Andy Carlson Joint

Hit up all of Luke’s stuff at eDraft and Cold Omaha.

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