Spielman Stockpiled Late-Round Picks Early in Draft, then Didn’t Use the Ammo…

Twitter: @Vikings
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**articles that start with a disclaimer are ALWAYS worth the read

**I like the Vikings’ draft overall. They filled needs early in the draft and didn’t have to reach to get their holes filled early(that’s what she said). Bradbury was a GREAT pick, as Brian talked about on Friday. Then on Friday, they may have grabbed the playmaking tight end Spielman’s been trying to nab in the later rounds of recent drafts, by diving into the TE pool earlier (2nd round), instead. 

And even though I thought RB was the least of our worries entering the draft (I like Mike Boone a lot and I don’t care about Roc Thomas selling a little bit smoking a bunch of pot), I’m fine with the 3rd round Alex Mattison pick, if Spielman sees things differently and coveted the Boise State grad. Go get ’em, Rick.

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In the 4th round, Spielman scooped up another coveted o-lineman in Oklahoma Guard, Dru Samia. You guys can go deeper into the later round selections, if you’d like. Many of the experts love Spielman’s draft and that’s great. They all know way more than I do. However, beyond the most offensive-minded Vikings draft since 1965, was another theme:

The Trade-Down Strategery (info via Vikings.com)

Rick Spielman was active throughout the draft, making six trades in total, over the three-day draft bender. He traded down five times and traded up once (from 120 to 114 to snag Dru Samia in the 4th round). It started in the 3rd round on Friday night, where he traded pick 81 four times (81>>88>>92>>93>>102) to eventually draft (RB) Mattison as the last pick in that round, meanwhile collecting FOUR 6th-7th round picks (204, 217, 191, 193) in the process.

On Saturday, the strategy started to show as they took the 204 pick from Friday night and packaged that with the 120 pick in the 4th round to jump up six spots to grab another OL they liked, in Dru Samia. But post-Samia pick is when I start to get confused. I expected more trades-up into the 4th and 5th rounds with all of the late-round capitol they aquired.

After the Samia pick (#114-4th round), the Vikings had 7 picks left before the draft ended, 6 of them were in the 6th-7th rounds (#190-250). It was a perfect opportunity to use those 6 picks in the last two rounds to move up and get more capitol in the 4th and 5th rounds. But instead, Spielman traded only once after drafting Samia, and it was with the Patriots to DROP BACK in the 5th round, from 159 to 162, while grabbing another 7th round pick (239), giving the Vikings a total of 7 picks between the 6th and 7th rounds.

Not one more trade was completed to move up. The Vikings drafted 3 players in the 6th round and 4 players in the 7th round. For some context, Spielman has hit on 3 late-rounders over the last TEN years that we could find (Stephen Weatherly, Shamar Stephen, Jayron Kearse), who all fill backup roles now.

Meanwhile, the 4th and 5th round picks that have hit for Rick in that same time period, consist of  Stefon Diggs (5th), Jerick McKinnon (4th), Everson Griffen (4th), Brian Robison (4th), and Ben Gedeon (4th); all of whom fill pretty major roles for the Vikings now. So even if late round numbers show that 6-7 rounders can stay in the league at a decent rate down the roade, our own team shows that the roles they fill are usually much different than players who hit in the middle rounds. 

Rick even admitted in his press conference afterward, that they couldn’t quite get deals done a couple of times in those mid-later rounds when they were targeting guys. So, the strategy was there. However, you can have the best gameplan in the world but if you don’t execute on gameday, the gameplan doesn’t much matter.

Again, this was a good draft overall, for Rick and the gang, and these later picks will probably mean nothing in a few weeks. I’m just a little suprised at all of the proverbial blow jobs that have been given to Spielman over the last 12 hours from Twitter and media alike… I thought I might jump in and throw a quick condom on the fun. #SKOL

Eric Strack | Minnesota Sports Fan

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