Senior Bowl Experience Paved Way For Vikings Interest In Harrison Smith

Posted by Mike Wobschall on April 26, 2012 – 11:35 pm

It seems like such a long time ago now, but the Senior Bowl is always an important aspect of the evaluation process for the Vikings. That aspect became even more important this year because the Vikings were assigned to coach the North squad.

While there’s no question coaching in the Senior Bowl is a taxing endeavor for many parts of the organization, there’s also no doubt that coaching in the Senior Bowl can give a team a significant advantage in the pre-draft player evaluation process. Having players sit in team meetings and run through the coaching staff’s position drills gives coaches and scouts the kind of up-close look they normally would not see.

“That was the one huge advantage of being able to coach the Senior Bowl because we got to know those players inside and out and know what they are about,” Vikings GM Rick Spielman said. “How they are in a meeting room. How they are out on the field. Our coaches know what it’s like to coach that player so that was a huge advantage for us and we know exactly what we are getting in Harrison Smith.”

Smith did enough at Notre Dame to warrant consideration as a 1st-round pick in this year’s draft. But it sounds like the Vikings experience with Smith at the Senior Bowl was more than enough to create significant interest in the 6-2, 214-pound safety.

“I thought I played well and did a good job and tried to do what they wanted me to do,” Smith said late Thursday night after being selected with the 29th overall pick. “But they never said anything about that they were going to draft me; there were a lot of good players down there.  I think it was just trying to get to know each other well and at the end of the day, I think they think I’m a good fit for them and I 100 percent agree.”

Why is Smith a good fit for the Vikings? Oh, let Spielman count the ways.

“I think he can do both, and that’s the thing that’s most appealing,” Spielman responded when asked if Smith was better versus the pass or run. “I know that he’s very aggressive in run support, very smart football player, very smart with his angles. Big safety that plays fast, but I also know how smart he is in coverage. Just watching the angles he takes to break on a pass, the anticipation to watch the quarterback and get a jump on a throw as its coming out. He has a lot of those instincts, that ability to make plays because he’s so smart and so instinctive.”

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Posted in All, Mike Wobschall | 27 Comments »

27 Responses to “Senior Bowl Experience Paved Way For Vikings Interest In Harrison Smith”

  1. By Woodboat on Apr 26, 2012 | Reply


  2. By mad1 on Apr 26, 2012 | Reply


  3. By Woodboat on Apr 26, 2012 | Reply

    Ok, now. I wasn’t positive that Spielman know what he was doing during free agency, but gave him the benefit of the doubt. I’m certainly glad I did. GOOD JOB, RICK!!! Suckering the Browns into that trade, getting Kalil, then trading up to get Smith? I couldn’t ask for more! Get us a WR to compete for a starting role and a decent CB and the rest is gravy…

    Keep it up!

  4. By mad1 on Apr 26, 2012 | Reply

    this is the best start i ve seen in years for the viks in the draft…

  5. By Woodboat on Apr 26, 2012 | Reply

    No, mad1… it has an “a” in firts…

  6. By GrandDaddyPurp on Apr 26, 2012 | Reply

    In Spielman I Trust!

    Great job on the draft coverage Mike Wobschall!

  7. By vikesfan12 on Apr 26, 2012 | Reply

    Kinda makes ya wonder about Brian Quick in the 3rd round!

  8. By mad1 on Apr 26, 2012 | Reply

    CB are good not great but good for at least 1 year and we could be a playoff team with two more picks and 1 FA signing com on Abdullah get on the bus……

  9. By Woodboat on Apr 26, 2012 | Reply

    Agreed. I’ve very pleased so far. If the coaching staff is up the challenge, we might just have a team to be proud of this year. With the roster moves that have been made so far, including the draft, where are we weak? Sure, we need to fill a few more holes, but we aren’t really WEAK anywhere. We have guys that can block, run, and catch on offense. We have a Line that can apply some pressure and a backfield that is improving on defense, with backers that can get the job done. I’m starting to get optimistic about a winning season this year…

  10. By Woodboat on Apr 26, 2012 | Reply

    I didn’t catch what the Smith pick cost us…. anyone care to share that info?

  11. By Woodboat on Apr 27, 2012 | Reply

    Ah… found it. Their 2nd and 4th rd picks. Not bad.
    Still leaves them with a 3rd and 3 4th rounders. Can get some quality players in the 3rd and 4th, still.

  12. By mad1 on Apr 27, 2012 | Reply

    man this is going to be great we can still jump in 2nd round and only give up very little with all our picks are u crazy this GM was a smart man this year . OH ya EJ is still out there so he could com back……and fill the bill!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  13. By mad1 on Apr 27, 2012 | Reply

    only 1 thing that gets me…. we need another DT were do we pick him up at???

  14. By mad1 on Apr 27, 2012 | Reply

    no up this late or what??

  15. By Derticus on Apr 27, 2012 | Reply

    I am soo happy with how the draft is going for us so far!! Lets pray it continues!

  16. By LisaMarie on Apr 27, 2012 | Reply

    This is pretty funny, here’s our new safety:


  17. By Drrvike on Apr 27, 2012 | Reply

    I have to say this has been an excellent first round! Way to go Mr. Spielman.

  18. By VV12Day on Apr 27, 2012 | Reply


    Both of those guys would be better than what we currently have at the safety position.

  19. By PurplHaze on Apr 27, 2012 | Reply

    Welcome to the Minnesota Vikings, Harrison Smith!

    Good Pick, Rick Spielman! And good job shafting the Patriots! They REALLY wanted this guy!!!

  20. By puckertrucker on Apr 27, 2012 | Reply

    I think that the Vikings have done a great job Drafting in the 1st round. now all they need to do is pick up a great Wide out like Dale Moss out of SD State and a couple more Defensive players like a good corner and another LB or FS or SS maybe another Running back as a pulling Guard or halfback option. The One and Only PuckerTrucker!!!!!!!!!!!Skol Fans P.S. Great job Mr. Spielman Keep it up for the rest of the Draft.

  21. By Justin on Apr 27, 2012 | Reply

    Just overall great first round. I’m hoping they all pan out. Now lets get a CB, WR, and a LB and I will be happy.

    Here are some good bios on the Vikings picks so far:

  22. By sandiamond on Apr 27, 2012 | Reply

    one-man wrecking crew!

  23. By Rogerthevikefan on Apr 27, 2012 | Reply

    @mad1 Vikings usually draft a DLinemen in the 4th round so guys to look for are DT Mike Martin, DT Akiem Hicks, DT JaRon Harris, and DT Marcus Forston(not sure on the last name played at Miami)

  24. By Rogerthevikefan on Apr 27, 2012 | Reply

    CB will likely be the pick in the 3rd round

  25. By Tom A. on Apr 27, 2012 | Reply

    I am very pleased with our progress so far!! Kalil and Smith will be great for our team for years to come. I am anxious to see our additions today and tomorrow. Great job, keep it up!!

  26. By Rogerthevikefan on Apr 27, 2012 | Reply

    CB Fleming would be an awesome pick up in the 3rd. Not sure what other corners have 3rd grades.

  27. By sandiamond on Apr 27, 2012 | Reply

    Charles Deas late round DT

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