Adam Schefter has become our window on the inner-workings of the Vikings’ draft evaluation process. Of course it’s always possible that what they’re letting us see is all BS designed to drum up trade interest and Schefter is basically being played like a sucka but, whatever. It makes for good blogging either way.
Monsieur Schefter’s latest nugget of possibly erroneous information may come as a slight surprise to those who thought the draft board was carved in granite at least when it comes to the top few picks. Schefter says the Vikings are considering a number of candidates at the #3 pick including Matt Kalil, Justin Blackmon, Morris Claiborne and Michael Floyd. Which of these names does not belong?
But is Floyd really that much of a stretch at #3? Maybe not. Draft authority Greg Cosell yesterday declared that in his mind Floyd is a superior prospect to Blackmon. Cosell wrote, “Floyd vs. Blackmon: A fascinating and compelling study. Many will disagree, but I see Floyd as the more complete prospect. The film tells me he has more ability to line up on the outside and win one-on-one. Blackmon’s success will be more a function of scheme, and how he’s utilized in the context of a multi-dimensional passing offense.”
Cosell compared Blackmon to Marques Colston, a player known more for working the inside of the field than the edges. The Vikings need someone to work the edges and especially get deep, and that’s where Floyd may give more value than Blackmon.
Of course Cosell’s assessment is one man’s opinion. Who knows what the Vikings’ personnel people see when they look at the tape. Conventional wisdom would hold that the Vikings should try to trade down, maybe out of the top 10, if Floyd is their target. But what if they can’t make the trade happen? Do they take Kalil or Blackmon or Claiborne #3 simply because those men are considered top 5 prospects by wonks and Floyd isn’t?
If we learned anything last year it’s that Rick Spielman isn’t shy about taking his man regardless of the draft position. Spielman wanted Christian Ponder – actually he probably wanted Jake Locker but that didn’t happen – so he took Ponder, even though Ponder was overdrafted at 12. Spielman wanted to trade down but the trade never materialized so he pulled the trigger.
Taking Floyd at 3 would be an even more aggressive and some would argue foolish move than taking Ponder at 12. But if Floyd is the man you value the most highly? If you think his skills translate better to your scheme than Blackmon’s? There’s no reason to mess around. And I don’t think Spielman will. I think Spielman will take the man he wants, and he’s not afraid of reaching.
I can’t wait for the post-draft analysis if Spielman does take Floyd #3. Mel Kiper’s head might literally explode.