The word of the day at Rick Spielman's annual pre-draft news conference was "analytics," so much so that if it were an episode of "Pee-Wee's Playhouse," no one would have left Winter Park with a voice. He brought up analytics in his opening statement and was asked about them five times.
Spielman wasn't exactly forthcoming, but here's what we learned about the team's use of analytics:
• Spielman said the Vikings hired an outside consultant to provide "unique things from an analytics standpoint." That person has been working with pro scout Scott Kuhn and Mike Band, a Vikings staffer, to not only come up with usable analytics but also contextualize them for Spielman and members of the front office and coaching staff who aren't as savvy with numbers.
• Spielman was adamant that the media shouldn't read too much into the analytics stuff because he said the Vikings still prioritize breaking down game tape first and foremost. "You're always going to make decisions based on your experience, your gut," he said. But he said they might use them to break ties between similarly graded players at a position.
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