Rick Spielman “Has a Little More Heat on Him Than Most”
By Ben Gotz
Apr 26, 2012; Eden Prairie, MN, USA; Minnesota Vikings general manager Rick Spielman addresses the media as he introduces the 2013 1st round draft picks at a press conference at Winter Park. Mandatory Credit: Bruce Kluckhohn-USA TODAY Sports
With only a few days left before the NFL Draft, it seems that general manager Rick Spielman’s seat may be a little toasty.
At least, that’s according to MMQB writer Greg A. Bedard, who said in his weekend notes column that Spielman “has a little more heat on him than most” leading up to the NFL Draft.
Bedard points to Spielman’s spotty quarterback record as the reason why Spielman may be under pressure this year. Dating back to his time with the Dolphins, Spielman’s “franchise quarterbacks,” A.J. Feely (who he traded a second round pick for) and Christian Ponder (taken 12th overall) have been seen as disappointments.
Spielman will get a third chance at finding a quarterback in a few days, but Bedard says if he whiffs again that could be it for Rick as the head of an NFL front office.
Spielman’s quarterback choices stand as a gaping hole on his resume, but his overall track record in the draft is one of the best in the league. In a recent study done by the Boston Globe analyzing NFL teams’ draft results from 2008-2012, the paper concluded “when it comes to drafting and developing players, Spielman…[has] been among the best in the NFL.”
Since 2008, the Vikings have the third most draft picks still on their roster (25), are tied for ninth with five first round picks, and have the second most starters from the drafts fifth through seventh rounds (4).
The Globe mentions that the Vikings “appear at the top of most categories” when it comes to analyzing draft results.
Of course, while Spielman has received high marks for his overall draft results, his teams have still compiled just 24 wins in the last four years. Part of that blame can be applied to the coaching staffs at Winter Park, but a large part of the blame has to go to the quarterback situation.
And much of that is on Spielman.
As the Globe points out, “teams that have otherwise drafted well still struggle because they haven’t found a top-flight quarterback,” and “teams that have drafted poorly still contend for the playoffs because of their quarterbacks.”
Spielman has admitted that he hasn’t gotten the Vikings quarterback situation figured out yet as general manager. And if Bedard is right, he needs to find a solution sometime soon if he wants to keep his job.