Bravo, Rick Spielman. In the proverbial poker game that is the NFL draft, Spielman and Co. strolled up to the table with a pretty big chip – the #3 overall pick – and parlayed some perfectly timed subterfuge with a tremendous working knowledge of other teams’ needs to turn that chip into a pair of immediate impact starters who will make the Vikings better from Day 1.
Coming away with LT Matt Kalil and S Harrison Smith from the 1st round of the 2012 NFL Draft is a 100% win for the Vikings, a team coming off a 3-13 record and looking for players to plug into the starting lineup.
As Radio Voice of the Vikings Paul Allen explained on his show page, the outstanding outcome did not arrive on accident. Leveraging a pair of teams who each reside in the Top 5 is not always an easy prospect, and selling many big-hitting national reporters from across the country on our supposed serious interest in taking CB Morris Claiborne ahead of Kalil was perfectly timed. But Spielman was able to do it.
And it all resulted in a terrific trade for the Vikings at the top of the 1st round in which Cleveland shipped 4th-round, 5th-round and 7th-round picks to Minnesota in exchange for the right to select RB Trent Richardson. Oh, and by the way, the Vikings were still able to get the player they coveted all along in Kalil. Then later in the 1st round, the Vikings traded up from the 2nd round back into the 1st round to add another player on their wish list – Smith.
“This is what makes the draft so fun,” Spielman said on Thursday evening. “The moving up and down and accumulating picks then using those picks to potentially move back up if you target a player. I know the depth at safety in this draft was very slim. We wanted to make sure that we started on our secondary and improving that area. We feel very strongly that Harrison will definitely do that.”
Vikings fans must be feeling great about where their team stands after the 1st round because two major needs were addressed. With 9 selections remaining in the last 6 rounds of the 2012 NFL Draft, it will be interesting to what kind of tricks the Vikings can pull from their sleeve next.
Tags: Harrison Smith, Matt Kalil, Rick Spielman
Posted in All, Mike Wobschall | 904 Comments »