The easy part is over for Rick Spielman and the Vikings. They got their left tackle and their two new pieces for the secondary. Those were all obvious picks (even though there was plenty of suspense leading up to them). What happens from here on out however is far from obvious. Rounds 4 through 7 are where the real personnel men make their money. The question: Can Spielman find enough good players to build up this team’s depth, and maybe pick out a couple of future starters? With 9 picks remaining in the draft he will have plenty of chances. It’s clear from yesterday’s lack of a trade-up that Spielman wants to use every one those 9 picks. He knows what the deal is. The Vikings have a very weak roster and need help all over the place. Now it’s up to him to identify players that actually CAN help and not just hold down roster spots in camp.
I don’t need to remind you that Spielman’s record has been spotty in the latter rounds, so his butt is kind of on the line today. Yes he made some nice moves in the first and showed good patience by not giving up picks to move back up yesterday. Positive signs for Spielman as GM. But he’s a long way from proving himself. Go find us some diamonds in the rough Rick. Or at least rubies or emeralds.
So what positions will the Vikings target today? What positions WON”T they target. Here’s a quick rundown of the types of players they might be looking for:
Nick Toon might be a pick in the fourth or Marvin McNutt. Those guys aren’t burners but they’re good complementary types who bring specific skills to the table. Either of them could easily push Michael Jenkins for the #3 receiver spot next year. The Vikes could also take a developmental player like Dale Moss or Mario Louis, guys with talent who are very very raw.
They looked at James Hanna, a “generic” freak (to quote Mr. Spielman), and might take him as another raw talent to build. They’re fairly set at tight end for the present.
Guard. Kenio Selemete is a possibility there. Tackle Tom Compton could also be on their board.
I still think they should pick up a beefy run-stuffer. Alameda Ta’amu and Hebron Fangupo are out there. So’s Josh Chapman. Among non-beefy guys, Chase Baker is a possibility. They’ll surely pick up a defensive end or two along the way too.
Audie Cole is the name to watch. They loved him at the Senior Bowl.
You can never have enough cornerbacks. Did we learn that lesson well enough last year and the year before? Lionel Smith and Ron Brooks were both guys they visited.
I don’t know if he’s in their plans anymore after the Harrison Smith pick but Antonio Allen was a guy the Vikings liked. He was a hybrid safety in college. D.J. Campbell might be on the board too.
I never looked very hard at the running back position in my pre-draft work for obvious reasons but certainly they could go that way, maybe hoping to turn up a gem who could grow into a #3.
They did visit a kicker, Greg Zuerlein. Ryan Longwell ain’t getting any younger.
Nine picks coming in a few hours? Should be dizzyingly fun.