Craig: Spielman can't rest on his laurels, ask other GMs

  • Article by: MARK CRAIG , Star Tribune
  • Updated: April 26, 2013 - 7:23 AM

Numerous general managers drafting Thursday night were doing so for the first time, a sign of the high job turnover in the NFL last season.

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Rick Spielman.

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If Rick Spielman needed a reminder not to rest on his past draft-day successes, all he had to do was look at all the new faces making the decisions at the top of Thursday night’s first round.

Eight of the first 14 picks were made by the league’s seven new general managers. They’re new because the teams they work for were a combined 34-78 and 0-for-7 in playoff appearances a year ago. They’re new because their predecessors messed up way too badly on way too many draft days.

Those seven new faces mean that nearly a quarter of the league’s decisionmakers are new this year. That’s a good thing for the Vikings, who look comfortable and confident with Spielman overseeing the Vikings’ draft for the seventh time, including the past two with final say on all transactions.

In his first six drafts, Spielman used his first-rounders on rookies of the year Adrian Peterson and Percy Harvin, a rookie Pro Bowl tackle in Matt Kalil, a 16-game rookie starter at safety in Harrison Smith and trade bait to land multiple All-Pro defensive end Jared Allen.

Spielman also used Day 3 picks (fourth round or lower) to land five starters – Brian Robison, John Sullivan, Brandon Fusco, Jamarca Sanford and Letroy Guion – a rising star in Everson Griffen and an All-Pro kicker in Blair Walsh.

Thursday night, he filled not one, not two, but three needs with first rounders. No. 23 pick Sharrif Floyd will play nose tackle this year and then replace Kevin Williams, the last Vikings’ defensive tackle taken in the first round back in 2003.

No. 25 pick Xavier Rhodes gives the Vikings a pair of 6-2 starting cornerbacks, along with Chris Cook, to combat the NFC North’s giant receivers. And No. 29 pick Cordarrelle Patterson fills a huge need at receiver, which was obvious by how much the Vikings paid (picks in the second, third, fourth and seventh rounds) to New England to trade back into the first round to get him.

– would be more than happy to do as well as Spielman has on draft day.

The new guys owned the first (Chiefs), second (Jaguars), sixth (Browns), seventh (Cardinals), ninth (Jets), 11th (Chargers), 13th (Jets) and 14th (Panthers) picks.

Four played it safe with offensive linemen in what was considered a meat-and-potatoes draft. Also taken were two powerful, mobile defensive tackles, a pass-rushing 3-4 outside linebacker and the top cornerback.

Here’s who the new guys took in Round 1:

Chiefs: Dorsey. No. 1 overall: Eric Fisher, OT, Central Michigan.

Dorsey gave himself leverage to trade disgruntled franchise player Branden Albert when he went with a predictable position, but a surprise player. Fisher was considered more of a risk because he came from a smaller school than Luke Joeckel, the consensus No. 1 projection from Texas A&M.

Jaguars: Caldwell. No. 2: Joeckel, OT, Texas A&M

Jacksonville had the fewest sacks in the league (20) a year ago. But rather than take Oregon pass rusher Dion Jordan, they went the safer route with Joeckel.

Browns: Lombardi. No. 6: Barkevious Mingo, OLB, LSU.

Cardinals: Keim. No. 7: Jonathan Cooper, G, North Carolina

Jets: Idzik. Nos. 9 and 13: Dee Milliner, CB, Alabama; Sheldon Richardson, DT, Missouri.

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Team Irvin 7:15 PM
Team Carter
Miami 54 3rd Qtr 8:26
Chicago 46
Oklahoma City 2:30 PM
Cleveland
Dallas 5:00 PM
New Orleans
Indiana 5:00 PM
Orlando
LA Clippers 5:00 PM
Phoenix
Minnesota 5:00 PM
Atlanta
Detroit 6:00 PM
Toronto
Milwaukee 6:00 PM
San Antonio
Boston 7:00 PM
Golden State
Washington 7:00 PM
Denver
Houston 8:30 PM
LA Lakers
Team Toews 4:00 PM
Team Foligno
South Florida 53 FINAL
Connecticut 66
Boston College 37 2nd Half 15:02
Georgia Tech 30
Virginia 33 2nd Half 15:45
Virginia Tech 34
Indiana 25 1st Half 3:10
Ohio State 35
Stony Brook 8 1st Half 14:34
Binghamton 6
Cincinnati 6 1st Half 15:51
UCF 6
Maine 11 1st Half 12:50
Hartford 11
Monmouth 9 1st Half 10:05
Manhattan 16
Fairfield 13 1st Half 13:01
Marist 10
Rowan 10 1st Half 8:28
Princeton 19
St Bonaventure 6 1st Half 14:41
Rhode Island 7
Duke 7 1st Half 16:19
St Johns 7
Saint Peters 15 1st Half 11:25
Siena 10
Drake 4 1st Half 14:59
Wichita State 11
Vermont 12 1st Half 12:01
UMass Lowell 11
Seton Hall 2:00 PM
Butler
NJIT 2:05 PM
South Alabama
Northern Iowa 3:00 PM
Illinois State
Louisville 3:00 PM
Pittsburgh
UMBC 3:30 PM
Albany
Niagara 3:30 PM
Iona
Notre Dame 5:30 PM
NC State
Belmont 5:30 PM
Tennessee St
Creighton 6:00 PM
Villanova
Northwestern 6:30 PM
Maryland
Washington 7:30 PM
Utah
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 41 2nd Half 11:33
UMBC 33
Vanderbilt 39 2nd Half 11:58
Alabama 36
Lafayette 32 2nd Half 15:20
Lehigh 38
Fairfield 1:00 PM
Monmouth
UCF 11 1st Half 14:18
SMU 4
Utah 8 1st Half 10:45
Washington 19
James Madison 11 1st Half 13:45
Coll of Charleston 5
Delaware 6 1st Half 12:56
Drexel 12
Hofstra 9 1st Half 13:30
William & Mary 16
Hartford 5 1st Half 15:11
Albany 6
Binghamton 8 1st Half 13:42
Stony Brook 12
Towson 21 1st Half 10:25
UNC-Wilmington 10
Wake Forest 15 1st Half 14:09
(17) Florida State 15
Georgia Tech 12 1st Half 11:46
Virginia 13
(22) Georgia 5 1st Half 12:09
(5) Tennessee 6
Drake 19 1st Half 11:23
Evansville 14
Iona 8 1st Half 13:40
Canisius 7
Northwestern 16 1st Half 11:57
Penn State 16
Wisconsin 15 1st Half 10:12
Michigan State 15
Ohio State 14 1st Half 13:20
Purdue 13
Northern Iowa 4 1st Half 14:15
Indiana State 7
Butler 1:30 PM
Xavier
Creighton 2:00 PM
Marquette
Providence 2:00 PM
DePaul
Northeastern 2:00 PM
Elon
(2) Connecticut 2:00 PM
Cincinnati
Oregon 2:00 PM
Arizona
Bradley 2:00 PM
Loyola-Chicago
NC State 2:00 PM
(23) Syracuse
(7) Maryland 2:00 PM
Indiana
Illinois State 2:05 PM
Missouri State
Colorado 3:00 PM
Washington St
Tulane 3:00 PM
South Florida
(14) Kentucky 3:00 PM
Missouri
(9) Oregon State 3:00 PM
(13) Arizona State
Vermont 3:30 PM
UMass Lowell
Iowa State 3:30 PM
(8) Texas
Southern Ill 3:45 PM
Wichita State
(15) Duke 4:00 PM
(12) North Carolina
Miami-Florida 4:00 PM
(4) Louisville
(21) Minnesota 4:15 PM
(25) Rutgers
California 5:00 PM
UCLA
(11) Stanford 7:00 PM
USC
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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

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