General Manager Rick Spielman this afternoon yakked it up with the local media about this weekend’s NFL draft, which starts Thursday night.
The most interesting part of his 30-minute press conference was his candid comments about how the Vikings vet prospects with character concerns. My colleague Mark Craig will be writing in depth about that for tomorrow’s paper, so I won’t step on his toes here. Be sure to pick up the paper or check back at StarTribune.com later tonight for that.
While they don’t have a first-rounder at this moment, Spielman feels the Vikings will still be able to pick some good players in the second, third and fourth rounds, when they have five total selections.
“I feel very strong about this draft,” he said. “I think the depth of this draft class, especially at some of the areas we’ll be looking at, is very significant I think through the mid rounds. And for us to have an extra third and an extra fourth this year is going to pay dividends for us.”
All that talent, in addition to the cost it would likely take to move all the way up from No. 48 overall, makes the possibility of the Vikings trading back into the first round an “unlikely scenario at this point.”
“I think it’s a pretty significant jump and [would be] pretty costly to go from where we’re picking in the second round,” Spielman said. “But you never know if something will fall out of the sky that is just too good.”
Might he mean one of the top offensive tackles? After all, Spielman said that the Vikings spending big bucks on offensive tackles Riley Reiff and Mike Remmers in free agency won’t preclude them from drafting a tackle. Ditto for the running back position after adding Latavius Murray.
“Just because we signed two offensive tackles in free agency doesn’t mean that if an offensive tackle was there we wouldn’t take him,” he said, pointing at how the Vikings structure contracts to give themselves an out. “Our job is to try to get the best 53 players out there.”
So, yes, breakings news: He says they will take the best player available.