With no camp, it's all draft all the time

  • Article by: CHIP SCOGGINSASCOGGINS@STARTRIBUNE.COM , Star Tribune
  • Updated: April 6, 2011 - 11:31 PM
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Vikings coach Leslie Frazier

Photo: Jerry Holt, Star Tribune file

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Under normal circumstances, Leslie Frazier would be preparing for his first mandatory minicamp of the offseason this weekend. But with the NFL lockout ongoing and the labor battle now a court case, the Vikings head coach had to cancel his minicamp.

Per league rules, Frazier was allowed to have two minicamps as a first-year coach. He scheduled the first one for this weekend, but that obviously can't happen because of the labor situation. Frazier said Tuesday that it's hard to map out an offseason schedule because it's unclear when the league will resume business.

"You can have thoughts but nothing is concrete," Frazier said. "You just wait and be patient. Right now we're just so busy with the draft that you don't think about it very much. That takes up a lot of my thought process -- who we're taking in the draft and are we looking at the right kids. Just trying to discern who fits us best. To be honest, the lockout doesn't really enter into your mind right now. This is my first draft in this role so that is all-encompassing for me."

The Vikings were scheduled to conclude their top 30 visit with draft prospects at Winter Park on Wednesday. Vice president of player personnel Rick Spielman said Tuesday that most of the information-gathering in the draft evaluations will be complete by the end of this week.

The team will begin setting the draft board next week with the coaching staff and scouts. Spielman said five positions could be in play for the Vikings with the 12th overall pick, but he said everyone will be on the same page once the draft begins April 28.

"Draft day there are no discussions [about prospects]," he said. "We know exactly what we're going to do, and we're going to know the options. We don't talk about players on draft day. Everything has been discussed and everything has been stacked. We put them in specific order -- if this guy is here, we're going one, two, three. These are the three guys -- we're going this guy first, this guy second, this guy third."

Exploring all options

Spielman has made it known he hopes to obtain a third-round pick during the draft after the Vikings used theirs in the Randy Moss trade. One possibility would be to trade down in the first round. Spielman said the team will explore all options.

"We're going to be working off just how our draft board is stacked," he said. "So if we do move back -- and I will put us in draft scenarios where we move back to X spot -- what are more likely our options going to be, who are the players we're going to be looking at?

"The biggest other thing is you've got to know where your threats are, too. That was where we were excited to go up and get Toby [Gerhart] last year and knew that Houston had a need for a running back, too. So you've got to know potentially how far if you move down, can you lose that player? And then you've got to worry about the guys coming behind you. Can someone potentially move up? Let's say you move down too far, someone jumps you coming back up. Those are all the games that are played on draft day. But those are all the scenarios that I'll put us through and we'll discuss and have a game plan for each of those scenarios."

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Toronto - WP: A. Sanchez 5 FINAL
NY Yankees - LP: D. Robertson 4
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