Matt Vensel is in his first year at the Star Tribune after covering the Ravens for the Baltimore Sun for six years. He is a Pittsburgh native and a Penn State grad. Follow him at @mattvensel.


Mark Craig has covered the NFL for 23 years, and the Vikings since 2003 for the Star Tribune. He is one of 44 Pro Football Hall of Fame selectors. Follow him at @markcraignfl.


Master Tesfatsion is the Star Tribune’s digital Vikings writer. He is a 2013 graduate of Arizona State and worked for mlb.com before arriving in Minneapolis. Follow him at @masterstrib.


Vikings' NFL draft 'big board' taking shape

Posted by: Master Tesfatsion under Vikings, NFL draft Updated: February 10, 2014 - 7:40 AM

The Vikings officially get into draft mode on Monday as they start to assemble their big board for the NFL Draft in May.

Vikings general manager Rick Spielman said on Saturday the team had a scheduled 7:30 a.m. meeting consisting of front office executives, pro scouts and college scouts with the NFL Combine nine days away. Spielman said the meeting gives head coach Mike Zimmer a chance to give a tutorial of his scheme and what type of players that can fit Zimmer's style.

­­The more we can get on the same page and see what he’s looking for, the better job we’ll be able to do to get those types of players,” Spielman said. “It’s not that hard to identify the traits, but you have to know what traits you’re looking for.”

The big board certainly won’t remain the same over the next three months. Zimmer said he doesn’t believe in judging a player just in the film room. With opportunities to watch prospects in person at the NFL Combine and Pro Days, it’ll give Zimmer a good chance to self-evaluate players before the draft.

“Until we can get around him, talk football and we can see how he interacts with the other players, see how they throw the ball, see how they move, see how they think and react, you can’t really tell anything on those [on tape],” Zimmer said.

Zimmer will have to rely on scouts however to identify the right personnel for his scheme. When Zimmer wasn’t interviewing coaches or meeting prospects at the Senior Bowl, he spent a considerable amount of time getting to know the Vikings’ scouts to establish a relationship and see where he fits in as the new head coach.

“I’ve been more impressed with this group of guys, this staff, the management, front office, pro scouts, college scouts just how professional they are, how opinionated they are,” Zimmer said. “Sometimes when you’re opinionated you can be swayed in a certain way. These guys, ‘this is the certain way I see it, this is what I’d do.’ They don’t take offense if someone doesn’t see it the same way. It is the best group I’ve been around.”

Only 86 days until Day 1 of the NFL Draft.

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New England 5:30 PM
Seattle
Miami 83 FINAL
Boston 75
LA Lakers 80 FINAL
New York 92
Arizona 3 FINAL
Montreal 2
St. Louis 4 FINAL
Washington 3
Nashville 4 FINAL
Pittsburgh 0
Minnesota 2 3rd Prd
Vancouver 0
Miami-Florida 54 FINAL
Florida State 55
Oakland 96 FINAL
Youngstown St 80
Cincinnati 46 FINAL
East Carolina 50
Michigan 66 FINAL
Michigan State 76
Marist 75 FINAL
Canisius 67
Fordham 77 FINAL
Dayton 101
Manhattan 87 FINAL
Monmouth 76
Quinnipiac 100 FINAL
Niagara 105
Utah 67 FINAL
USC 39
Connecticut 56 2nd Half 1:53
Houston 62
California 85 2nd Half 2:28
Washington 81
North Dakota St 64 FINAL
Western Ill 62
Penn State 65 FINAL
(22) Rutgers 76
(14) Texas 59 FINAL
TCU 64
Coll of Charleston 49 FINAL
Towson 71
Cornell 53 FINAL
Yale 60
Xavier 68 FINAL
Providence 57
Drexel 61 FINAL
UNC-Wilmington 44
Stony Brook 60 FINAL
New Hampshire 52
Maine 52 FINAL
Albany 44
Miami-Florida 66 FINAL
Pittsburgh 81
(21) Georgia 72 FINAL
(10) Kentucky 80
Arizona 69 FINAL
Colorado 81
Wake Forest 63 FINAL
(4) Notre Dame 92
Loyola-Chicago 56 FINAL
Illinois State 72
(24) Oklahoma 69 FINAL
West Virginia 78
St Johns 73 FINAL
Seton Hall 78
Delaware 73 FINAL
Hofstra 62
Binghamton 49 FINAL
UMass Lowell 66
Vermont 49 FINAL
Hartford 60
William & Mary 72 FINAL
Northeastern 66
Boston College 60 FINAL
(16) North Carolina 72
Virginia 77 FINAL
Clemson 72
(2) Connecticut 83 FINAL
Temple 49
Arkansas 53 FINAL
Alabama 42
Virginia Tech 71 FINAL
Georgia Tech 79
Kansas 58 FINAL
(3) Baylor 66
Canisius 51 FINAL
Rider 52
Monmouth 52 FINAL
Fairfield 54
Quinnipiac 81 FINAL
Saint Peters 50
Butler 55 FINAL
Creighton 62
Wichita State 61 FINAL
Drake 64
Evansville 52 FINAL
Indiana State 67
Villanova 47 FINAL
DePaul 49
Auburn 45 FINAL
(12) Texas A&M 78
(11) Arizona State 58 FINAL
Utah 48
Michigan 60 FINAL
(15) Nebraska 75
Minnesota 49 FINAL
Northwestern 70
(18) Miss State 65 2nd Half 1:27
(6) Tennessee 76
Georgetown 67 2nd Half 1:41
Marquette 71
North Texas 48 1st OT
Rice 48
Missouri State 56 2nd Half 0:38
Northern Iowa 63
Wisconsin 67 2nd Half 4:03
Illinois 55
Bradley 55 2nd Half 1:32
Southern Ill 64
Florida 32 2nd Half
Vanderbilt 22
(20) Iowa 41 1st Half 1:15
(5) Maryland 39
(1) South Carolina 8 1st Half 12:39
Ole Miss 12
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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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