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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NY Mets 1 Bottom 5th Inning
Washington 0
Baltimore 4 Bottom 4th Inning
NY Yankees 0
Kansas City 3 Top 5th Inning
Cleveland 0
Seattle 2 Bottom 5th Inning
Toronto 2
Chicago WSox 0 Top 5th Inning
Detroit 0
Philadelphia 0 Top 5th Inning
Miami 1
Pittsburgh 1 Top 5th Inning
Atlanta 2
Milwaukee 0 Top 5th Inning
Cincinnati 2
Tampa Bay 0 Bottom 4th Inning
Boston 0
Houston 0 Top 2nd Inning
Texas 0
St. Louis 0 Top 2nd Inning
Chicago Cubs 0
Arizona 0 Bottom 1st Inning
Minnesota 0
LA Angels - W. LeBlanc 9:05 PM
Oakland - S. Gray
San Francisco - M. Bumgarner 9:10 PM
Los Angeles - Z. Greinke
Colorado - J. De La Rosa 9:10 PM
San Diego - R. Erlin
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Washington
Buffalo 9/28/14 12:00 PM
Houston
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Chicago
Tennessee 9/28/14 12:00 PM
Indianapolis
Carolina 9/28/14 12:00 PM
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NY Jets
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Minnesota
Philadelphia 9/28/14 3:25 PM
San Francisco
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Dallas
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Kansas City
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Buffalo 1
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Columbus 1
Boston 2 2nd Prd
Montreal 1
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Tampa Bay 0
Philadelphia 0 2nd Prd
Toronto 1
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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 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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