Vikings General Manager Rick Spielman spent some time in the media center on Thursday at the 2013 Scouting Combine, and in so doing was asked to address a variety of topics. We have his press conference available in on-demand format and we’ve also posted our one-on-one interview with Spielman. In addition, Spielman spent some time with Voice of the Vikings Radio Network Paul Allen during his radio show, which he’s hosting along with Paul Charchian from here in Indianapolis.
But I thought I’d share a few of his quotes that stood out to me during his time in the media center…
Draft is deep, maybe not splashy
The overwhelming majority of people I’ve spoken with here at the Combine are characterizing this year’s draft class as being deep with talent. At the same time, people are acknowledging that there aren’t the splashy types of playmakers in this draft, either. There are no obvious top picks like an Andrew Luck or Robert Griffin III from last year. It’s not obvious who the top receiver is, like it was with Justin Blackmon last year.
“From a personnel standpoint and a football standpoint, to me it’s a very deep draft,” Spielman said. “There are a lot of guys who don’t get the recognition, but can make a huge impact on your roster. They’re just not a splash positions.”
This is good news for the Vikings, and bad news for teams who happen to have higher picks.
“I think we’re going to get an excellent football player at 23, if we’re there,” Spielman said. “I think through the first four rounds, to have that extra fourth-round pick this year, will be valuable as well. I think the depth of this draft class…you’re going to get some pretty significant players that can help you win ballgames.”
The other part of the Combine
We’re all here in Indianapolis for the Scouting Combine as all 32 teams continue their evaluations of this year’s draft class. But much more than draft evaluation happens here in Indianapolis during the Combine. This is the time and place where teams and agents get together to discuss the futures of their players.
It all combines for an exciting time, and a period of the year that Spielman enjoys.
“We’ll start meeting with some of our own UFA (unrestricted free agent) agents, and then that process will continue over the next three or four days,” Spielman said. “I’m anxious to get started on the (Combine) workouts, and we start our formal interviews tonight (Thursday), so it’s an exciting time.”
Spielman said not to expect any big news for the Vikings at this point because he anticipates many players set to be free agents to test their potential market before deciding to sign.
“I don’t know if anything will specifically get done immediately just because a lot of times those deals don’t get done until the eleventh hour,” Spielman explained. “I’m anticipating some of the guys waiting until they can actually start negotiating with other teams in that three-day window (March 9) to get a true gauge of what their value is or what they see as the potential market for that player. So it’ll be a lot of dancing and getting to know each other from that standpoint, and we’ll see how it progresses.”
Are you a DE or an OLB?
One of the trickiest player evaluations to make centers around defenders who fit a hybrid DE/OLB mold. A current NFL player who fit this profile is Dallas’ DeMarcus Ware. He may look more like a DE, but in Dallas’ old 3-4 scheme (they’ve switched to a 4-3 this offseason) he actually played standing up as an outside LB would.
“The biggest thing I think between the 3-4 and the 4-3 teams are those hybrid outside linebackers,” Spielman said. “Are they designated pass rushers? Are they big enough to hold up and play as a right or left defensive end in a 4-3 scheme? Can they potentially be strong-side linebackers for you? Can they play from a stacked position? There are players who are very good athletes who are coming out in this draft, and we’ll have a lot of discussions on those hybrid types. Can they fit what we do?”
Greg Childs update
Spielman was asked if he thought Adrian Peterson’s ability and determination to comeback from his knee injury would serve as inspiration for Greg Childs as he tries to come back from a knee injury as well. While Spielman did acknowledge that Childs could learn a lot from Peterson’s mindset, he also noted that Childs is determined in his own right to make it back to the field.
“Greg is a very driven individual and wants to do well and show people he can be good,” Spielman said. “He’s attacked his rehab that way. He’s one of those guys that fit our profile – guys that love ball, have passion for the game. He’s shown that so far through his rehab.”
Tags: 2013 Scouting Combine, Rick Spielman
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