Hartman: Vikings GM Spielman finds draft pool deep

  • Article by: SID HARTMAN , Star Tribune
  • Updated: April 21, 2013 - 12:10 AM

Rick Spielman said he is very excited about the defensive players available. And the Vikings are going to need defensive linemen

hide

Minnesota Vikings first round draft picks Matt Kalil, second from left, and Harrison Smith are introduced by head coach Leslie Frazier, left, and general manager Rick Spielman

These are busy, long days at Winter Park for the people involved in the draft, a draft that Vikings General Manager Rick Spielman says is heavy with talent from top to bottom.

“I think it’s a very, very deep draft,” Spielman said. “I don’t know that there’s a significant difference between maybe the fifth or sixth guy that’s going to come off that board and the guy where we’re going to be picking at 23 and 25.

“You’re going to get significant players in the second and third [rounds], and we also have two fourth-round picks as well. We have 11 [picks overall]: two number ones, a two, a three, two number fours, a five, a six, and, if I’m not mistaken, three sevens.”

Spielman said he is very excited about the defensive players available. And the Vikings are going to need defensive linemen with Kevin Williams signed for only the upcoming season and Jared Allen and Brian Robison able to become free agents after this year.

And Spielman added that he believes there are other positions with good depth, including those on the offensive line.

The GM also believes that getting a quality receiver could happen even after the first round.

“In the receiver position, I think there’s going to be some very good receivers that you’re going to be able to potentially take in the second- and third-round area and there’s going to be a couple in that third day [rounds 4-7], as well,” he said. “That’s why I said I think it’s a strong defensive draft but there are some good offensive players, as well.”

With Antoine Winfield gone, the Vikings have a need for defensive backs as well.

A year ago, Spielman was able to make great trades to move back a spot from the third overall pick to the fourth and gain an extra first-round pick that eventually netted the team safety Harrison Smith, who had a fantastic rookie season. Spielman said he has already gotten calls for trades, which is normal when you have two first-round draft choices.

“Its’ a little premature to start thinking about [trades]. I think you have to go through your draft meetings; you have to see what potential players are going to be available where you’re picking,” Spielman said. “If there’s a player that’s very significant that we feel we have to go up and get in the first round, we have enough ammunition to do that. There’s also the possibility that we can take one of those first-round picks and trade back and pick up some more draft picks, we may do that as well. With the amount of draft picks we have, with the depth of this draft, I think it’s going to be a very interesting draft. A lot of teams are going to try to fill needs because there’s so much depth at each position.”

With 11 draft choices, watch for Spielman and company to deal like they did last year to fill a position like the middle linebacker spot.

Tough schedule

According to the NFL, the Vikings’ 2013 schedule is the 10th-toughest in the league, based on their opponents’ records last season. The good news is that the Vikings’ strength of schedule is the third-easiest in the NFC North, as both the Detroit Lions (second-hardest strength of schedule in the NFL) and the Packers (sixth-hardest) are ahead of them. The Bears have the 16th-toughest strength of schedule.

Why is the Lions’ schedule considered so tough? They have two games each against the Vikings, Packers and Bears, teams that went a combined 31-17 in 2012.

Meanwhile, Winfield’s contract in Seattle is worth $1 million in guaranteed money, and if he fulfills every aspect of his contract it will be worth $3 million. The Vikings had reportedly offered Winfield a $3 million fully guaranteed contract after cutting him, but he opted to go to the Seahawks instead.

Healthy Twins

This is only the second year in their history that Joe Mauer and Justin Morneau have played in all 14 games to start the season for the Twins. The only other year was 2010, the first year of Target Field, when the Twins went 94-68 and won the American League Central — but that was also the year when Morneau suffered a concussion in a collision at Toronto that started his long stretch of battling injuries.

Mauer, who is hitting .393 after going 2-for-4 in Saturday’s 2-1 victory over the White Sox in Chicago, is off to one of the best starts in his career. Mauer has exceeded his slugging percentage of .574 in the 14 games only twice, in 2004 (.595) and 2009 (.827). And as for as his on-base percentage of .439, through 14 games he had exceeded that figure three times, in 2007 (.466), 2009 (.532) and 2010 (.441).

As for first baseman Morneau, he is hitting .268 through his first 14 games after going 0-for-4 Saturday. In 2006, when he won the MVP, he got off to a slow start, hitting only .255 with a .293 on-base percentage and .491 slugging percentage through 14 games.


SID’s JOTTINGS

• While the University of Wisconsin administration doesn’t charge the athletic department on scholarships given to athletes, the University of Minnesota is charged $23,132 for every scholarship given to athletes. So the school pays in excess of $9.3 million for scholarships. The fact that the Badgers can use scholarship money for other things is one reason that they have mostly dominated the Gophers in revenue sports for years.

• Steve Goodson, who had been with Tubby Smith on the Gophers men’s basketball staff for six years, turned down the first offer to stay by new coach Richard Pitino and was on his way to Texas Tech to work with Smith. Then when Mike Balado, who had been with Pitino at Florida International, resigned days after joining the Gophers staff, it opened a better job for Goodson as director of basketball operations, and he decided to stay.

• Look for the Big Ten to have an announcement in the near future that starting in the next couple of years all teams will play nine conference football games.

• Gophers men’s and women’s athletes are doing well in the classroom with a 3.18 grade-point average.

• Dick Lurie, who was one of the first agents to exist in this area and represented former AL MVP Rod Carew of the Twins and NFL MVP Alan Page of the Vikings, died recently.

• Former Bloomington Jefferson standout Cole Aldrich averaged only 2.2 points and 2.7 rebounds this season, finishing with the Sacramento Kings. But the 2010 first-round pick, traded from Oklahoma City to Houston in October and traded again to Sacramento in February, scored 12 points and had 12 rebounds in a loss to the Rockets last Sunday, and one night later he had 12 points and 13 rebounds in a loss to the Thunder — the first double-doubles of his NBA career.
 

  • related content

  • Do the Vikings believe in Manti Te'o?

    Sunday April 21, 2013

    Squeaky-clean Heisman Trophy runner-up one month, tabloid fodder the next. Many NFL teams, including the Vikings, are scrutinizing Manti Te'o. Will the Vikings take a chance on the Notre Dame...

  • Poll: Should the Vikings draft Manti Te'o?

    Saturday April 20, 2013

  • A year ago, the Vikings moved down one spot in the first round of the NFL draft to gain an additional first-round pick. That pick was used to select Notre Dame safety Harrison Smith, who — as the Bears’ Jay Cutler could attest to on this play — made a big impact on the Vikings defense as a rookie starter.

  • get related content delivered to your inbox

  • manage my email subscriptions

ADVERTISEMENT

Team Irvin 32 FINAL
Team Carter 28
Miami 96 FINAL
Chicago 84
Oklahoma City 98 FINAL
Cleveland 108
Dallas 106 FINAL
New Orleans 109
Indiana 106 FINAL
Orlando 99
LA Clippers 120 FINAL
Phoenix 100
Minnesota 100 FINAL
Atlanta 112
Detroit 110 FINAL
Toronto 114
Milwaukee 95 FINAL
San Antonio 101
Boston 111 FINAL
Golden State 114
Washington 117 FINAL
Denver 115
Houston 99 FINAL
LA Lakers 87
Team Toews 17 FINAL
Team Foligno 12
South Florida 53 FINAL
Connecticut 66
Boston College 64 FINAL
Georgia Tech 62
Virginia 50 FINAL
Virginia Tech 47
Indiana 70 FINAL
Ohio State 82
Stony Brook 61 FINAL
Binghamton 54
Cincinnati 56 FINAL
UCF 46
Maine 70 FINAL
Hartford 61
Monmouth 64 FINAL
Manhattan 71
Fairfield 67 FINAL
Marist 73
Rowan 48 FINAL
Princeton 96
St Bonaventure 48 FINAL
Rhode Island 53
Duke 77 FINAL
St Johns 68
Saint Peters 69 FINAL
Siena 55
Drake 40 FINAL
Wichita State 74
Vermont 61 FINAL
UMass Lowell 50
Seton Hall 57 FINAL
Butler 77
NJIT 72 FINAL
South Alabama 55
Northern Iowa 54 FINAL
Illinois State 53
Louisville 80 FINAL
Pittsburgh 68
UMBC 55 FINAL
Albany 69
Niagara 64 FINAL
Iona 87
Notre Dame 81 FINAL
NC State 78
Belmont 63 FINAL
Tennessee St 55
Creighton 50 FINAL
Villanova 71
Northwestern 67 FINAL
Maryland 68
Washington 56 FINAL
Utah 77
Senior-North 34 FINAL
Senior-South 13
Seton Hall 99 FINAL
Georgetown 85
St Johns 69 FINAL
Villanova 81
Arkansas 58 FINAL
Florida 72
Maine 56 FINAL
UMBC 42
Vanderbilt 55 FINAL
Alabama 52
Lafayette 60 FINAL
Lehigh 65
UCF 61 FINAL
SMU 57
Utah 51 FINAL
Washington 63
James Madison 73 FINAL
Coll of Charleston 53
Delaware 56 FINAL
Drexel 61
Hofstra 56 FINAL
William & Mary 57
Hartford 58 FINAL
Albany 82
Binghamton 54 FINAL
Stony Brook 67
Towson 63 FINAL
UNC-Wilmington 71
Wake Forest 80 FINAL
(17) Florida State 110
Georgia Tech 68 FINAL
Virginia 62
(22) Georgia 51 FINAL
(5) Tennessee 59
Drake 79 FINAL
Evansville 62
Iona 80 FINAL
Canisius 62
Fairfield 33 FINAL
Monmouth 59
Northwestern 75 FINAL
Penn State 76
Wisconsin 71 FINAL
Michigan State 77
Ohio State 79 FINAL
Purdue 71
Northern Iowa 57 FINAL
Indiana State 55
Butler 58 FINAL
Xavier 54
Creighton 93 FINAL
Marquette 75
Providence 42 FINAL
DePaul 90
Northeastern 77 FINAL
Elon 80
(2) Connecticut 96 FINAL
Cincinnati 31
Oregon 78 FINAL
Arizona 81
Bradley 46 FINAL
Loyola-Chicago 45
NC State 49 FINAL
(23) Syracuse 66
(7) Maryland 84 FINAL
Indiana 74
Illinois State 35 FINAL
Missouri State 58
Colorado 68 FINAL
Washington St 73
Tulane 45 FINAL
South Florida 64
(14) Kentucky 83 FINAL
Missouri 69
(9) Oregon State 68 FINAL
(13) Arizona State 57
Vermont 63 FINAL
UMass Lowell 72
Iowa State 58 FINAL
(8) Texas 57
Southern Ill 61 FINAL
Wichita State 80
(15) Duke 74 FINAL
(12) North Carolina 67
Miami-Florida 55 FINAL
(4) Louisville 68
(21) Minnesota 61 FINAL
(25) Rutgers 66
California 72 FINAL
UCLA 57
(11) Stanford 71 FINAL
USC 60
Connect with twitterConnect with facebookConnect with Google+Connect with PinterestConnect with PinterestConnect with RssfeedConnect with email newsletters

ADVERTISEMENT

ADVERTISEMENT

Date/Opponent Time W L Score
2014 preseason     
Aug 8 - vs. Oakland 7 pmX10-6
Aug 16 - vs. Arizona 7:30 pmX30-28
Aug 23 - at Kansas City 7 pmX30-12
Aug 28 - at Tennessee 7 pmX19-3
2014 regular season     
Sep 7 - at St. Louis NoonX34-6
Sep 14 - vs. New England NoonX30-7
Sep 21 - at New Orleans NoonX20-9
Sep 28 - vs. Atlanta 3:25 pmX41-28
Oct 2 - at Green Bay 7:25 pmX42-10
Oct 12 - vs. Detroit NoonX17-3
Oct 19 - at. Buffalo NoonX17-16
Oct 26 - at Tampa Bay NoonX19-13 ot
Nov 2 - vs. Washington NoonX29-26
Nov 9 - Bye
Nov 16 - at Chicago NoonX21-13
Nov. 23 - vs. Green Bay NoonX24-21
Nov. 30 - vs. Carolina NoonX31-13
Dec 7 - vs. NY Jets NoonX30-24 ot
Dec 14 - at Detroit 3:25 pmX16-14
Dec 21 - at Miami NoonX37-35
Dec 28 - vs. Chicago NoonX13-9

ADVERTISEMENT

ADVERTISEMENT

ADVERTISEMENT

question of the day

Poll: Who will win the Super Bowl?

Weekly Question

ADVERTISEMENT

 
Close