The other day, I wrote about the importance of drafting players who have plenty of heart, whose competitive nature burns white hot.
Note: You can read that article HERE.
And then the Vikings drafted offensive tackle Christian Darrisaw, who is huge in stature at 6-5, 322 pounds but might just have a minuscule heart.
Over on the nfl.com website, the first weakness listed for Darrisaw is alarming: “Play can be much too nonchalant at times.”
The second weakness also is alarming: “Inexplicably lets opponents off the hook early rather than finishing them.”
In the nfl.com overview of Darrisaw, it says he “gives half-hearted effort securing down blocks and squeezing down to help protect the B-gap.”
Now, Randy Moss used to be nonchalant and give half-hearted effort on plays when he knew the ball wasn’t headed in his direction. As a wide receiver, he could get away with it.
A left tackle has to be full of competitiveness and heart on every play or his quarterback could be turned into mulch.
This is a concern, a huge one, that won’t be tamped down until Darrisaw proves he doesn’t occasionally slip into slouch mode.
If Darrisaw can flip that competitive switch so that it stays on for every play, he will be remembered as a good pick and nobody will think Rick Spielman got fleeced in the trade out of the 14th overall pick.
I like Spielman. I really do. I have found him to be a decent guy. I am not, however, enamored with his skill set as an NFL general manager.
He botched this draft way back at start of the 2020 season when he traded, among other picks, the Vikings’ second-round choice for defensive end Yannick Ngakoue. That would have been fine if Spielman hadn’t turned him into a very short-term rent-a-player.
Immediately after trading the 14th pick to the New York Jets, the assumption was that the Vikings were getting the 23rd overall pick and a second rounder.
Nope. The Jets gave the Vikings a couple of third-round picks. And besides the 14th overall pick, the Vikings shipped a fourth-round pick to the Jets.
This was a lopsided trade, and it didn’t lop on the side of the Vikings.
With that 14th pick from the Vikings, the Jets drafted the best guard in the draft, Alijah Vera-Tucker. No issues with nonchalent play with him.
Why Spielman didn’t keep the 14th pick and select Vera-Tucker is bewildering. Then again, so is trading a second-round pick for Ngakoue and then dumping him a few weeks later.
Bob Sansevere hosts “The BS Show,” a daily podcast also broadcast on radio stations in Duluth (KDAL), Hibbing (WNMT) and St. Cloud (WBHR).