Friday, October 20, 2017

Zach Cunningham

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Ten Studs & Two Lists

Images courtesy of Vikings.com

The NFL draft continued its forever-long streak of unpredictability on Thursday evening with one of the most entertaining first rounds to date. From the Chicago Bears’ questionable acquisition of North Carolina’s Mitchell Trubisky to an on-air explosion of joy courtesy of UCLA’s Takkarist McKinley, the 2017 draft is already well on its way to becoming an instant classic.

And the Minnesota Vikings haven’t even joined the festivities yet!

Minnesota made it through the first round without making a peep and now sits *just* 16 picks away from answering months of speculation as to who general manager Rick Spielman will select at 48th overall. And that’s not all — the Vikings are also scheduled to make selections at Nos. 79 and 86 overall, setting the stage for a highly eventful, absolutely critical and potentially franchise-altering Day 2 in Philadelphia.

The Vikings are not far away from contending for a Super Bowl, meaning that how Spielman performs over the next 24 hours could hypothetically be the difference between competitive and dominant. Connecting on two of their three selections on Day 2 is easier said than done, but there is still a small arsenal of top-end prospects available — Now it’s Time to Execute.

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VT Roundtable Episode 8

Opening night of the 2017 NFL draft is officially in the books. As expected, the Minnesota Vikings were inactive during the first round, electing to forgo what proved to be a truly unpredictable and chaotic night in Philadelphia, Penn.

The guys return to discuss everything from the Chicago Bears’ interesting selection of North Carolina quarterback Mitchell Trubisky to Minnesota’s Day 2 approach on Episode 8 of the VT Roundtable.

Be sure to check out Episode 8 after the jump AND subscribe to the Vikings Territory YouTube channel to keep up with ALL our video content!

DRAFT DAY — About the Labor Podcast Episode 60 feat. Jordan Reid

BJ Reidell — Version 3.0

BJ Reidell and Drew Mahowald welcome Jordan Reid (The Viking Age) on to the show to give a final review of defensive prospects as it pertains to the Minnesota Vikings.

PRIMARY TALKING POINTS

  • Intro (0:00-0:46)
  • Prospect Review: Defensive Tackles (0:47-11:36)
  • Prospect Review: Linebackers (11:37-28:03)
  • Prospect Review: Edge-Rushers [43 Defensive End/34 OLB] (28:04-42:02)
  • Prospect Review: Cornerback [Outside/Nickel] (42:03-52:51)
  • Prospect Review: Safety (52:52-1:00:08)
  • Twitter Questions: “Nickel CB is the most difficult position on defense” (1:00:09-1:08:58)
  • Bold Draft Predictions: “Deshaun Watson goes No. 4 overall” (1:08:59-01:14:48)
  • Sign Out (01:14:49-01:16:07)

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Images courtesy of Vikings.com

NFL Draft Week has finally arrived.

In just a few short days all of the questions spawn from speculation, discussion and news reports will be given answers over the course of three wildly unpredictable days. The Minnesota Vikings will enter an interesting situation without a first-round pick and three selections (48, 79, 86) in the top 100.

With these three early-round picks along with a pair of fourth-rounders and three other Day-3 selections, the Vikings have a number of holes to fill and edges to smooth over. This guide aims to find the middle ground on “need” and “value” in order to best project how Minnesota will operate this coming weekend.

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image courtesy of Vikings.com

Minnesota Vikings general manager Rick Spielman is a restless man during the NFL Draft. When he’s not on the clock, he’s frantically making calls with other teams to improve Minnesota’s draft position. He has operated that way since he took over full reigns as general manager in 2012.

In his first three NFL Drafts, Spielman either moved Minnesota’s place in the draft or added a selection in the first round. He swooped an extra couple of picks from Cleveland in 2012 to move down one spot and was still able to get the guy he wanted in Matt Kalil. In 2013, Spielman selected three times in the first round, making trades with Seattle (before the draft) and New England to acquire picks that turned into Sharrif Floyd, Xavier Rhodes and Cordarrelle Patterson.

Spielman then pulled the trigger on a trade that moved the Vikings back into the last slot of the first round in 2014 to select Teddy Bridgewater.

“Slick Rick” didn’t make any such moves in the previous two drafts, but his track record indicates that type of maneuver is on his mind a week before the draft. It’s important to keep in mind that Spielman would likely need to give up the 48th overall pick and the 79th overall pick to move up into the bottom of the first. Depending on the prospects available, it might require more than that.

With all of this in mind, the question must be asked: If Spielman does pull the trigger on a trade into the first round, which prospects should he target?

The fundamental answer is easy: trade up for a guy with top-tier first round talent who has slipped through the cracks. Several candidates fit that bill in this year’s draft class.

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