Monday, July 6, 2015

Rick Spielman

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Image courtesy of Vikings.com

Before the start of the 2014 season, Rick Spielman rewarded defensive end Everson Griffen with a five-year, $42.5 million contract. Looking back at the deal, “rewarded” may be the wrong word; Griffen had started just one game in his four years with the team, recording just 17.5 sacks in spot duty behind Jared Allen.

But, Griffen showed flashes of a potentially bright future — an interception return for a touchdown against the Rams in 2012, 5.5 sacks in just 699 snaps throughout 2013. Spielman gambled on that future, letting Jared Allen walk in free agency and trusting his roster talent. His commitment to Griffen was more than trust; it was a ringing, $20 million guaranteed endorsement.

Simply put, Griffen delivered in 2014, recording 12 sacks through 16 starts (993 snaps). To the media outside of Winter Park, Griffen’s meteoric rise was unexpected. He earned national recognition, most recently from Pro Football Focus, who listed Griffen as the 98th-best player in all of football. According to the website, Griffen’s 59 quarterback disruptions while lined up on the right side of the line were second most of all 4-3 defensive ends.

That statistic is the perfect opportunity to move down the defensive line and focus on Griffen’s counterpart; Brian Robison. Griffen is a lock to man the right edge for years to come, but Robison’s days may soon be numbered. He’s 32-years-old and played in 932 of the defense’s snaps last year, but saw his production dwindle.

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Photo Courtesy of Ashley Davis

There is no offseason in the NFL. Which means there’s no offseason for Purple FTW! Tom Shefchik (@Shefonomics), co-editor of Sporting Sota, joins us to talk Vikings and what’s new and different at SS. No shortage of Vikings news: Rookie Mini Camp happened over the weekend, Teddy took a high school girl to prom, and Jerry Jones refuses to let his Adrian dream die.

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Anytime you talk about adding weapons around Teddy Bridgewater, my ears perk up. That’s exactly what GM Rick Spielman accomplished by selecting TE MyCole Pruitt with the 143rd overall pick in the 5th round of the 2015 NFL draft.

Attributes

Height: 6’2”
Weight: 251 pounds
Arm Length: 33 1/2
Hands: 10 1/4

Combine

40-Yard Dash: 4.58
Bench Press: 17 reps of 225 pounds
Vertical Jump: 38.0
Broad Jump: 118.0
20 Yard Shuttle: 4.37
60 Yard Shuttle: 11.85

Pruitt was a top performer at the combine running the fastest 40-yard dash among tight ends, the best vertical jump, and ranked fourth in the broad jump. Along with his obvious athleticism, the 6-foot-2, 250-pound Pruitt showed soft hands in the positional drills.

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Image courtesy of Vikings.com

The NFL Draft has concluded and draft picks are already under contract, already in the house, and already starting to practice in their new uniforms.

Before I go through this week’s best links, I want to draw special attention to one you should all be clicking on, if you haven’t already. CLICK HERE to listen to Tom Moore’s exclusive interview on Vike Fans with Vikings general manager Rick Spielman. It is a post-draft interview geared towards addressing everything Vikings fans want to know, and it really is a great listen.

Okay, onto the all the other fine content that can be found around the web:

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