There was nothing else for media members to do in the locker room at Winter Park other than to hold conversations among ourselves. This was the 45-minute open-access period, where players stay out of view while deciding between the cafeteria upstairs or Jimmy John’s for lunch, and we saps wait hopefully for a quote from a Viking … any Viking.

I was talking with Mark Craig, the wise owl of local NFL writers, about the angst-filled reaction from a share of Vikings fans over trading No. 1 and No. 4 picks for Sam Bradford.

“It’s because the NFL has created a second season with the draft,” Craig said. “There is football season and then draft season, and the NFL through its genius has managed to get the public equally worked up over both.”

Good point. No surprise. The Owl rarely makes a bad one.

Certainly, it takes the fun out of the draft for the zealots, if their team does not have a spot in the first round, which has become the entire action on Day 1 of the extravaganza.

The Vikings won the NFC Central last season. An opening playoff loss put the Purple at No. 23 in the first round. They selected Laquon Treadwell, a receiver they had no qualms about keeping on the sideline throughout the season opener.

He’ll probably be a player, with that magnificent “catch radius,” but put it this way: If you had a choice between giving the Vikings a chance to reach their potential for 2016, at the cost of a player with whatever future Treadwell possesses, which way would you go?

If you have as much as a pea for a brain, you would go the way of General Manager Rick Spielman, and bring in a veteran quarterback with talent, Sam Bradford.

There’s no T.E. Bridgewater, and there won’t be for a long time, and the Vikings — with Bradford and a superb defense — have a 12.5 percent chance (my reckoning) to be in a Super Bowl next February for the first time in 40 years.

Without Bradford but still a No. 1, that chance would be zero.

Forget the draft season. Enjoy the real season.


Outstanding seasons amid ineptitude:

Brian Dozier: Amazing power display included 19 home runs in a 35-game stretch; never done before by a big-league second baseman.

Kevin Love: In 2010-11, he was an All-Star, led the NBA in rebounding (15.2) and averaged 20.2 points, and the Wolves were 17-65.

Jordan Murphy: Big Ten All-Freshman, averaging 11.6 points and 8.0 rebounds for losingest team in history of Gophers basketball (men).

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