Rick Spielman Ready to Move Around Again on Draft Night


Mandatory Credit: Bruce Kluckhohn-USA TODAY Sports

If the Vikings stay at pick No. 8, Rick Spielman has a “hunch” about who the team might take. But of course he’s not telling.

“No one knows who we’re going to take right now,” Spielman said at a press conference today at Winter Park. Spielman even mentioned that the media has yet to mock certain players to the team they’re considering.

Of course, there’s a good chance the team won’t stay at No. 8. Spielman has stated that he loves the trade aspect of the NFL Draft, and he plans to explore plenty of possible deals in the next couple of days.

“I’d love to be active on draft day,” Spielman said. He mentioned that he got three calls yesterday and two texts today about moving about throughout the draft.

Spielman has been very active early in the draft as Vikings general manager, trading three times in the first round the past two years, and five times the last four years in rounds one through three.

Spielman and the Vikings staff are now preparing for every possible scenario that could occur when the draft opens up on Thursday. Spielman said at the press conference that team officials met for four hours earlier today going through draft-day scenarios.

One of those scenarios could involve the Vikings picking defensive tackle Aaron Donald out of Pittsburgh. Peter King of the MMQB has been linking Donald and the Vikings this week, first saying the Vikings were looking for a “front seven player” like him in his Monday column and then having the team pick him in his mock draft.

It’s easy to see why head coach Mike Zimmer could want a guy like Donald, a pass rushing defensive tackle who profiles very similarly to an All-Pro Zimmer coached in Cincinnati, Geno Atkins. Spielman mentioned Zimmer “would draw up a scheme” for players the team is considering, and Donald could be just the type of tackle Zimmer is looking for.

But where does that leave Sharrif Floyd, the a defensive tackle the Vikings took in the first round last year?

“Floyd is going to be a very good football player,” Spielman said. But then he added “you can never have enough defensive lineman.”

It’s possible that Donald and Floyd could team as inside pass rushers in the Vikings nickel package if the team were to take Donald, as free agent addition Linval Joseph is mainly known as a run-stuffer. If the team wants Joseph out in the nickel package too though, Donald had some experience as a nickel denfensive end in college.

Of course, Rick Spielman is tight-lipped as to whether that could actually be in the team’s plans. But we’ll find out for sure Thursday night.