Vikings GM Spielman busier than usual during draft

  • Article by: MATT VENSEL , Star Tribune
  • Updated: May 11, 2014 - 12:08 AM

Rick Spielman entered the NFL draft with eight draft picks. By the time his busy weekend was finished, he had made four trades, selected 10 players, infused a bevy of young talent into new head coach Mike Zimmer’s defense and found the franchise’s next quarterback of the future.

“We’re very excited about this weekend,” Spielman said. “We feel we really upgraded our football team. We got a lot of really good football players.”

Spielman, who brokered two draft-night deals during the first round before selecting UCLA outside linebacker Anthony Barr and Louisville quarterback Teddy Bridgewater, twice traded back to acquire an additional pick Saturday, giving the Vikings and new Zimmer 10 new rookies to coach up. Only three were selected in their original draft slot.

“We thought that if we accumulated more picks, there was enough depth there to add to our roster and create competition,” Spielman said.

Seven of the new Vikings players are defenders, including three defensive backs —Virginia Tech’s Antone Exum, Maine’s Kendall James and North Carolina’s Jabari Price —who were selected Saturday. The Vikings also added Connecticut defensive tackle Shamar Stephen and Georgia Tech outside linebacker Brandon Watts in the seventh round.

The lone offensive player selected Saturday was Stanford guard David Yankey in the fifth round.

The new Vikings, including Barr and Bridgewater, will report to Winter Park for the team’s rookie minicamp on Thursday. They will be joined by a group of undrafted rookie free agents on the practice field when their workouts begin Friday. The minicamp ends Sunday.

Finally, secondary help

Cornerback appeared to be one of the team’s biggest needs entering the draft and the safety position also looked it needed to be addressed after the Vikings finished 31st in pass defense in 2013. But they waited until the final day of the draft to add three defensive backs.

Exum, a talented cornerback who missed a large chunk of the 2013 season due to injury, was selected in the sixth round. He expects to primarily be a safety, though he could play corner, too.

“I think that they kind of see me as a hybrid-type guy,” Exum said. “I’m just ready to go and get on the field and contribute in any way I can. Whatever they want me to do.”

Later in the sixth round, the Vikings selected James. Their final pick of the draft was Price.

Ready to block all day

With the 145th pick in the fifth round, the Vikings selected their third Pac-12 player of the weekend in Yankey, an admirer of Vikings back Adrian Peterson. He says he can’t wait to block for him.

“I’ve watched that guy explode on Sundays for the last couple of years,” Yankey said. “To get a chance to play for him and block for him and see him do some of that magical stuff is exciting.”

Yankey is a versatile offensive lineman who started 40 of the 42 games he appeared at Stanford. He started 26 times at left guard and 14 times at left tackle, but he is expected to play at guard, another big need for the Vikings heading into the final day of the draft.

Stephen strong

The Vikings feel Stephen is a strong, physical nose tackle who can contribute to the defensive line rotation.

  • get related content delivered to your inbox

  • manage my email subscriptions

ADVERTISEMENT

Toronto 0 Bottom 4th Inning
NY Yankees 2
Washington - G. Gonzalez 3:05 PM
Cincinnati - J. Cueto
St. Louis - S. Miller 3:05 PM
Chicago Cubs - J. Arrieta
Baltimore - B. Norris 3:10 PM
Seattle - C. Young
Arizona - J. Collmenter 6:05 PM
Philadelphia - C. Lee
NY Mets - J. Niese 6:10 PM
Milwaukee - W. Peralta
San Diego - O. Despaigne 6:10 PM
Atlanta - J. Teheran
Miami - T. Koehler 6:10 PM
Houston - J. Cosart
Boston - J. Lackey 6:10 PM
Tampa Bay - J. Hellickson
Chicago WSox - C. Sale 6:10 PM
Minnesota - L. Darnell
Cleveland - Z. McAllister 6:10 PM
Kansas City - J. Guthrie
Oakland - S. Gray 7:05 PM
Texas - N. Tepesch
Pittsburgh - J. Locke 7:10 PM
Colorado - T. Matzek
Los Angeles - C. Kershaw 8:05 PM
San Francisco - R. Vogelsong
Detroit - J. Verlander 8:05 PM
LA Angels - M. Shoemaker
Sporting Kansas City 6:00 PM
Toronto FC
Columbus 6:30 PM
New England
Calgary 26 FINAL
Edmonton 22
Winnipeg 23 FINAL
Brt Columbia 6
Ottawa 6:00 PM
Hamilton
Toronto 9:00 PM
Saskatchewan
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
Los Angeles 3:00 PM
Seattle
Indiana 7:00 PM
San Antonio
New York 9:00 PM
Phoenix
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