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.

Photo: Carlos Gonzalez, Star Tribune

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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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Baltimore - LP: K. Gausman 1 FINAL
Chicago Cubs - WP: J. Arrieta 4
Houston - WP: T. Sipp 5 FINAL
Cleveland - LP: C. Allen 1
San Francisco - WP: T. Hudson 10 FINAL
Washington - LP: D. Fister 3
St. Louis - LP: A. Wainwright 4 FINAL
Philadelphia - WP: K. Kendrick 5
Chicago WSox - LP: D. Webb 3 FINAL
NY Yankees - WP: D. Robertson 4
Tampa Bay - WP: D. Smyly 8 FINAL
Toronto - LP: M. Stroman 0
Atlanta - WP: D. Hale 3 FINAL
Cincinnati - LP: M. Parra 1
Seattle - WP: D. Leone 5 FINAL
Boston - LP: K. Uehara 3
Kansas City - WP: Y. Ventura 6 FINAL
Texas - LP: C. Lewis 3
Pittsburgh - WP: J. Locke 8 FINAL
Milwaukee - LP: Y. Gallardo 3
Detroit - LP: R. Ray 6 FINAL
Minnesota - WP: R. Pressly 20
Miami - WP: H. Alvarez 13 FINAL
Colorado - LP: F. Morales 5
San Diego - LP: O. Despaigne 1 FINAL
Arizona - WP: J. Collmenter 5
LA Angels - LP: J. Grilli 3 FINAL
Oakland - WP: S. Gray 5
NY Mets - LP: J. Niese 2 FINAL
Los Angeles - WP: D. Haren 6
Carolina 7 FINAL
New England 30
NY Giants 35 FINAL
NY Jets 24
Jacksonville 12 FINAL
Detroit 13
Oakland 21 FINAL
Green Bay 31
Chicago 6 FINAL
Seattle 34
Tampa Bay 3:30 PM
Buffalo
Tennessee 6:00 PM
Atlanta
Dallas 6:00 PM
Miami
Washington 6:30 PM
Baltimore
New Orleans 7:00 PM
Indianapolis
Minnesota 7:00 PM
Kansas City
St. Louis 7:00 PM
Cleveland
Houston 8:00 PM
Denver
San Diego 8/24/14 3:00 PM
San Francisco
Cincinnati 8/24/14 7:00 PM
Arizona
Atlanta 8/28/14 5:00 PM
Jacksonville
Detroit 8/28/14 6:00 PM
Buffalo
Indianapolis 8/28/14 6:00 PM
Cincinnati
Kansas City 8/28/14 6:00 PM
Green Bay
NY Jets 8/28/14 6:00 PM
Philadelphia
St. Louis 8/28/14 6:00 PM
Miami
Carolina 8/28/14 6:30 PM
Pittsburgh
New England 8/28/14 6:30 PM
NY Giants
Washington 8/28/14 6:30 PM
Tampa Bay
Baltimore 8/28/14 7:00 PM
New Orleans
Chicago 8/28/14 7:00 PM
Cleveland
Denver 8/28/14 7:00 PM
Dallas
Minnesota 8/28/14 7:00 PM
Tennessee
San Francisco 8/28/14 7:00 PM
Houston
Arizona 8/28/14 9:00 PM
San Diego
Seattle 8/28/14 9:00 PM
Oakland
(21) Texas A&M 8/28/14 5:00 PM
(9) So Carolina
Wake Forest 8/28/14 6:00 PM
ULM
Boise State 8/28/14 7:00 PM
(18) Ole Miss
Tulane 8/28/14 7:00 PM
Tulsa
Temple 8/28/14 8:15 PM
Vanderbilt
Rutgers 8/28/14 9:00 PM
Washington St
Weber State 8/28/14 9:30 PM
(19) Arizona State
BYU 8/29/14 6:00 PM
Connecticut
(6) Jacksonville St 8/29/14 6:30 PM
(8) Michigan State
Bowling Green 8/29/14 6:30 PM
Western Ky
TX-San Antonio 8/29/14 8:00 PM
Houston
Colorado State 8/29/14 8:00 PM
Colorado
UNLV 8/29/14 9:30 PM
Arizona
UCF 8/30/14 7:30 AM
Penn State
Real Salt Lake 1 FINAL
FC Dallas 2
Montreal 16 FINAL
Winnipeg 24
Toronto 3:00 PM
Edmonton
Calgary 8/24/14 2:00 PM
Ottawa
Saskatchewan 8/24/14 6:00 PM
Brt Columbia
Ottawa 8/29/14 6:30 PM
Montreal
Winnipeg 8/31/14 2:00 PM
Saskatchewan
Toronto 9/1/14 12:00 PM
Hamilton
Edmonton 9/1/14 3:30 PM
Calgary
Chicago 80 FINAL
Atlanta 77
Los Angeles 72 FINAL
Phoenix 75
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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 pm
Aug 28 - at Tennessee 7 pm
2014 regular season     
Sep 7 - at St. Louis Noon
Sep 14 - vs. New England Noon
Sep 21 - at New Orleans Noon
Sep 28 - vs. Atlanta 3:25 pm
Oct 2 - at Green Bay 7:25 pm
Oct 12 - vs. Detroit Noon
Oct 19 - at. Buffalo Noon
Oct 26 - at Tampa Bay Noon
Nov 2 - vs. Washington Noon
Nov 9 - Bye
Nov 16 - at Chicago Noon
Nov. 23 - vs. Green Bay Noon
Nov. 30 - vs. Carolina Noon
Dec 7 - vs. NY Jets Noon
Dec 14 - at Detroit Noon
Dec 21 - at Miami Noon
Dec 28 - vs. Chicago Noon

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