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

NY Mets 3 FINAL
St. Louis 2
Pittsburgh 4 FINAL
Atlanta 2
Miami 7 FINAL
Washington 11
Detroit 4 FINAL
Philadelphia 4
Minnesota 6 FINAL
Baltimore 5
NY Yankees 7 FINAL
Houston 0
Tampa Bay 2 FINAL
Boston 3
Baltimore 4 FINAL
Toronto 2
Cincinnati 8 FINAL
LA Angels 6
Chicago Cubs 7 FINAL
Kansas City 0
Los Angeles 9 FINAL
San Francisco 11
Chicago WSox 4 FINAL
Cleveland 1
Milwaukee 0 FINAL
Oakland 7
Seattle 5 FINAL
San Diego 8
Texas 5 FINAL
Los Angeles 10
Colorado 11 FINAL
Arizona 10
Arizona 1 FINAL
Colorado 2
Houston 99 FINAL
Washington 91
LA Lakers 99 FINAL
Brooklyn 107
Minnesota 88 FINAL
New Orleans 110
Philadelphia 86 FINAL
Cleveland 87
Detroit 102 FINAL
Miami 109
LA Clippers 119 FINAL
Boston 106
Dallas 88 4th Qtr 6:00
Indiana 89
Memphis 89 FINAL
San Antonio 103
Oklahoma City 5 1st Qtr 10:14
Phoenix 7
Washington 5 FINAL
NY Rangers 2
Calgary 5 FINAL
Nashville 2
Boston 2 FINAL(OT)
Carolina 1
Detroit 4 FINAL
NY Islanders 5
Florida 4 FINAL
Ottawa 2
Anaheim 2 3rd Prd 8:47
New Jersey 0
Chicago 2 3rd Prd
Winnipeg 3
San Jose 2 2nd Prd :20
Pittsburgh 2
Michigan State 76 FINAL
Louisville 70
Gonzaga 52 FINAL
Duke 66
Philadelphia 0 FINAL
Chicago 1
Toronto FC 1 FINAL
Real Salt Lake 2
(7) Florida State 74 FINAL
(3) South Carolina 80
Villanova 70 FINAL
West Virginia 75
Michigan 69 FINAL
Southern Miss 60
Temple 69 FINAL
Middle Tennessee 57
Siena 50 FINAL
Louisiana 52
St Marys-CA 66 FINAL
UCLA 82
(5) Baylor 33 1st Half 3:25
(2) Notre Dame 33
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 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

ADVERTISEMENT

ADVERTISEMENT

ADVERTISEMENT

question of the day

Poll: What should the Vikings do with Adrian Peterson?

Weekly Question

ADVERTISEMENT

 
Close