Tuesday, May 23, 2017

Rick Spielman

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Could Nine Rookies Actually Make it to September?

Images courtesy of Viking.com

The NFL draft is in the past, and with its conclusion begins roughly two months of salivating over the talented new group of Minnesota Vikings that Rick Spielman put together. And, as a result, we join together in speculation regarding the future of Minnesota’s 11-man rookie class and how its arrival will impact the Vikings’ 53-man roster composition this fall.

Well, I am ready to head the speculation discussion with a 53-man roster projection that is absolutely way too early. This article, for all intents and purposes, is about generating discussion, but the objective is always to be as accurate as possible — regardless of how much of a lost cause this goal is in early May.

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Spielman & Zimmer
Image courtesy of vikings.com

Spielman & Zimmer Let Important Players Leave … Which Is New.

Since Rick Spielman and Mike Zimmer joined forces in Minnesota, as general manager and head coach, respectively, the masses have scrutinized the on-field performances with a watchful eye. The reviews have largely been positive when it comes to talent acquisition, and save for a few clock management hiccups and a suspicious stuffed animal rumor, Zimmer has enjoyed a Minnesota honeymoon that has been almost unanimously celebrated by Vikings fans.

This season will mark the beginning of a new era, however, and Vikings fans will be analyzing decisions in a way that has yet to occur since their head coach was hired in 2014.

This is the first year of Zimmer’s tenure that a substantial number of highly-regarded Vikings players have left for other teams, some of whom are amid the prime of their career from an age standpoint. The franchise’s best running back of all time, a left tackle selected in the top five, a popular and gritty veteran nickel corner, a kick returner that could be the NFL’s best before his career is over, a punter that finally seemed to be grooving and a blocking tight end whose dad might be inclined to describe this as an “exodus.”

Their presumed replacements have now been acquired through free agency and the draft, but only 16 games of football can give us all a real idea as to whether or not this has all been a net upgrade.

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Purple FTW! Podcast: Recounting Trade Rick's Capital Gains with JReidDraftScout & BJ Reidell (ep. 371) - Minnesota Vikings - 1500 ESPN

Trader Rick Spielman landed a phat return on the Minnesota Fightin’ Vikings’ 8 inbound picks in the 2017 NFL Draft, trading up twice for running back Dalvin Cook and center Pat Elflein, yet still coming away with 11 selections. To help comb through the picks, we compiled out conversations with @JReidDraftScout (The Viking Age) and BJ Reidell (@RobertReidell) (Vikings Territory & About The Labor Podcast) from earlier in the week on BULL with Andy Carlson. Tune in as better draft minds than I sift through the draft picks, the undrafted free agents, and if Vikings fans should be Bearish or Bullish on the rookie acquisitions.

All that and more “Future Franchise Quarterback Jack Nelson” chatter on this edition of the Purple FTW! Podcast!

A Carlson Digital Joint

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Purple FTW! Podcast: Recapping the Minnesota Vikings' 2017 NFL Draft (ep. 370) - Minnesota Vikings - 1500 ESPN

Minnesota Vikings general manager Rick Spielman more than lived up to his “Trader Rick” moniker wheeling-and-dealing seven times (we think) in this iteration of the draft. We recap the haul, declare Winners and Losers of the draft Vikings-wise, and how the Purple neophytes project to make an impact in 2017 and beyond.

2 (41) – Dalvin Cook, RB – Florida State
3 (70) – Pat Elflein, C – Ohio State
4 (109) – Jaleel Johnson, DT – Iowa
4 (120) – Ben Gedeon, LB – Michigan
5 (170) – Rodney Adams, WR – South Florida
5 (180) – Danny Isidora, G – Miami
6 (201) – Bucky Hodges, TE – Virginia Tech
7 (219) – Stacy Coley, WR – Miami
7 (220) – Ifeadi Odenigbo, DE – Northwestern
7 (232) – Elijah Lee, LB – Kansas State
7 (245) – Jack Tocho, DB NC State

All that and more “2018 7-Round Mock Dropping Tomorrow” chatter on this edition of the Purple FTW! Podcast!

A Carlson Digital Joint

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