Rand: Spielman's big draft miss tarnishes his image

  • Updated: April 25, 2014 - 12:06 AM
hide

The drafting of Christian Ponder by the Vikings and Aaron Rodgers by the Packers has shaped the view those teams’ GMs.

Photo: File photo by CARLOS GONZALEZ • cgonzalez@startribune.com,

CameraStar Tribune photo galleries

Cameraview larger

As the NFL draft mercifully approaches (less than two weeks away now … and counting), we’ve read countless items about draft history and draft strategy. Very little surprises us at this point — but that changed Thursday with a passage in an ESPN.com story by Mike Sando.

“The Minnesota Vikings have selected 61 players since Rick Spielman took over their draft room in 2006. Eight of the 61 have earned Pro Bowl honors. The Green Bay Packers have drafted 87 players since Ted Thompson became their general manager in 2005. Seven of the 87 have become Pro Bowlers.”

First, a couple of caveats: Spielman didn’t run the 2006 draft with the Vikings; he was hired after the Fran Foley fiasco. Foley ran that draft. Also, Spielman did not have full control of the draft room until 2012, when he was promoted to general manager.

So if 2006 is no longer in play — the year Pro Bowl linebacker Chad Greenway was drafted — Spielman is really tied at seven with Thompson, albeit in two fewer seasons running the draft. And it can be debated just how many of the remaining Pro Bowl players should be credited to Spielman. To be sure, also, the Pro Bowl is hardly the perfect way to judge the success or failure of draft picks.

That said, there are interesting and instructive notions to come from that simple paragraph comparing the work of the two NFC North personnel bosses.

• There is a perception that Thompson is a draft guru who has built the Packers from the ground up while Spielman’s tenure with the Vikings has been more of a mixed bag. The reality is that both men have had their fair share of draft hits … and both have had their fair share of draft misses.

• The major difference lies in the magnitude of Thompson’s biggest hit and Spielman’s biggest miss. In 2005, Thompson’s first draft after being named GM, Green Bay chose Aaron Rodgers in the first round. Rodgers sat behind Brett Favre for three seasons before taking over and becoming one of the best QBs in the NFL.

Faced, too, with the prospect of replacing an even older Favre with the QB of the future in 2011, Spielman and the Vikings chose Christian Ponder in the first round. If that had worked out, we wouldn’t be talking about the Vikings drafting a quarterback again this year.

Conclusion: If all else is equal, drafting a great quarterback will make you seem like a genius … and drafting a mediocre quarterback will make the rest of what you accomplish pale in comparison.

MICHAEL RAND

  • get related content delivered to your inbox

  • manage my email subscriptions

ADVERTISEMENT

Philadelphia - LP: K. Kendrick 2 FINAL
NY Mets - WP: Z. Wheeler 11
Milwaukee - WP: Y. Gallardo 5 FINAL
Tampa Bay - LP: D. Price 0
Arizona - WP: W. Miley 5 FINAL
Cincinnati - LP: A. Simon 4
Washington - WP: T. Roark 4 FINAL
Miami - LP: B. Hand 3
Oakland - LP: J. Hammel 1 FINAL
Houston - WP: D. Keuchel 8
Pittsburgh 5 Bottom 5th Inning
San Francisco 4
LA Angels - G. Richards 6:05 PM
Baltimore - K. Gausman
Seattle - F. Hernandez 6:05 PM
Cleveland - C. Kluber
Chicago WSox - H. Noesi 6:08 PM
Detroit - M. Scherzer
Toronto - M. Buehrle 6:10 PM
Boston - B. Workman
Colorado - B. Anderson 7:05 PM
Chicago Cubs - T. Wood
NY Yankees - H. Kuroda 7:05 PM
Texas - C. Lewis
Minnesota - P. Hughes 7:10 PM
Kansas City - D. Duffy
Atlanta - A. Wood 9:10 PM
Los Angeles - Z. Greinke
St. Louis - J. Kelly 9:10 PM
San Diego - J. Hahn
NY Giants 8/3/14 7:00 PM
Buffalo
Toronto FC 6:00 PM
D.C.
Colorado 6:30 PM
New England
Vancouver FC 7:30 PM
Chicago
Red Bull New York 8:00 PM
Real Salt Lake
Winnipeg 7/31/14 6:00 PM
Hamilton
Toronto 8/1/14 6:00 PM
Montreal
Brt Columbia 8/1/14 9:00 PM
Calgary
Saskatchewan 8/2/14 6:00 PM
Ottawa
Saskatchewan 8/7/14 7:30 PM
Winnipeg
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 pm
Aug 16 - vs. Arizona 7:30 pm
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

ADVERTISEMENT

ADVERTISEMENT

ADVERTISEMENT

question of the day

Poll: Which local pro team are you most excited about?

Weekly Question

ADVERTISEMENT

 
Close