Spielman should let Gary Kubiak make Vikings offensive draft decisions

(Photo by Reed Hoffmann/Getty Images) Gary Kubiak
(Photo by Reed Hoffmann/Getty Images) Gary Kubiak /

This draft is easily the most important of the Zimmer Era. To improve chances of success, the general manager of the Minnesota Vikings should listen carefully to the team’s new assistant coach as they decide on their new offensive players.

Defensively, Rick Spielman has hit some solid targets in the NFL draft. He has chosen players like Xavier Rhodes, Harrison Smith, Everson Griffen, and Danielle Hunter to name a few prominent Vikings. His misses are there, but certainly more obscure.

However, on the offensive side of the ball, Spielman has a seat firmly in the dunk tank. Going back to only 2015, we see duds in Speilman’s collection such as Laquon Treadwell, Matt Kalil, Willie Beavers, T.J. Clemmings, MyCole Pruitt, Stacey Coley, and more.

Pro Bowlers Adam Thielen and Stefon Diggs were, respectively, undrafted and picked two spots after bust TE MyCole Pruitt at 146. That’s a dart toss.

Yes, the team has recently added the likes of C/G Pat Elflein, whose 2017 campaign was promising, but whose return from injury in 2018 was much less remarkable. Rookie RT Brian O’Neill showed at least as much promise in 2018, but will face a wary jury of fans as he enters his second season in such a crucial position.

Under New Management

Since Minnesota decided to bring onboard the likes of Gary Kubiak and Rick Dennison, Rick Spielman should be quietly holding a clipboard in the Viking Draft War Room tonight (and through the next two days), when the selection of offensive role players is being seriously considered.

This is no insult to Spielman. His work in bringing players such as Brett Favre, Steve Hutchinson, Jared Allen, and Linval Joseph to Minnesota have no doubt showed great dividends, and Spielman has demonstrated himself as a very able negotiator in matters such as college draft order and salary cap numbers.

But let’s go ahead and smoke ‘em if we got ‘em. Gary Kubiak is not only a verified head coach and leader of successful offenses that employ distinct and proven designs, he is an expert judge of talent in the football field execution of such designs.

See three Lombardi Trophies in Denver; years 1997, 1998, and 2015.

Without any substantial or foreboding questions surrounding days one and two of this draft, the Vikings will be using no less than two of their four picks in as many rounds on offensive players, most likely linemen. They have a great need at the guard position and significant need at the tackle and center spots.

Three Heads Only

These offensive draft choices should be made by a triumvirate symposium of Kubiak, Rick Dennison, and Kevin Stefanski, with Mike Zimmer and Spielman offering the three a tip of their caps with the decision put forth.

Of course, this decision will remain variable on the eternal intangibles of the draft, of them, a favored player selected by another team, but this indeed lends itself to Speilman’s talent to squeeze the juice out of the board. I’m sure Kubiak isn’t the kind of coach and tactician to fall in love with any one player.

A satisfying draft will go a long way in easing the great disappointment of the results of the Vikings’ 2018 season. With OTAs and mini-camps just around the corner, fans will again get excited for Summer, for new and familiar faces in new and familiar jersey numbers, for training camp and exhibition games.

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Then, just around the corner, the 2019 NFL season.

Let’s make some good calls, gentlemen. We are counting on you. Let’s just be wise about choosing the right people to choose the right people.