Vikings coaches “fell in love” with Harrison Smith at the Senior Bowl

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In the team-by-team draft needs, we suggested that the win-now Vikings may try to move back into the first round to beef up the cornerback position.  They did it, but they emerged with a safety.

And the decision to trade up resulted in large part from the access the Minnesota coaching staff had to Harrison Smith at the Senior Bowl.

“When our coaches coached the Senior Bowl, they fell in love with Harrison Smith,” G.M. Rick Spielman tells Peter King of SI.com.  “At safety, the depth after him got really thin.  So we felt that was a guy we really wanted to get where we got him.  That’s the point with what we did — you’ve got to look at the depth at each position.  Where we picked, we liked Morris Claiborne.  We liked Justin Blackmon.  But with Kalil, my point was, you’ve got to look at the depth and make your choice not only for that position but for what you think will be there at the other positions you need.  And that’s what it came down to for us.”

And so the Vikings went with Matt Kalil at No. 3 because of the gap between him and the rest of the left tackle class, and then they jumped the line to get Smith at No. 29 because of the gap between him and the rest of the safety class.

Whether any of that means the Vikings will be anything other than the worst team in one of the toughest divisions in football remains to be seen.

47 responses to “Vikings coaches “fell in love” with Harrison Smith at the Senior Bowl

  1. What a GM can do for a team in an NFL draft, Rick Spielman did for the Vikings in this draft. No one knows how any of their picks will perform over the coming years. But based on what can be known going into the draft, and what value can be manufactured by wheeling and dealing during the draft, Spielman added value to the Vikings draft haul by gaining additional picks, and filling the biggest needs with top quality prospects- making trades as necessary to make it happen.

  2. A big,smart safety. Will give leadership to the secondary. Will he become the next Steve Atwater?? We shall see

  3. I shake my head at this Vikings brass. Harrison will be a damn bust. Drafting half of the Notre Dame secondary is a joke. We need a GM.

  4. you can’t get much worse than the vikings secondary from last year.

    Tebow looked like an all pro against them.

    it’s amazing jared allen had 20+ sacks last year with absolutely no secondary to help him out.

  5. sportsmeccabi says:
    Apr 30, 2012 10:14 AM
    Fell in love in one week?
    Ha, the Minnesota Vikings coaches have the emotional stability of a 14 year old girl apparently.

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    Why do you know so much about 14 year old girls?

  6. It honestly makes no difference WHO the Viqueefs draft,they’re still never gonna win the Superbowl.PLUS you chodes are gonna move to LA.Go Pack Go!LOLZ.

  7. We’ll have to reserve judgment, even after Rodgers and Finley undoubtedly school him this season. His speed/quickness is going to be an issue. Based on this draft, it looks like Spielman’s pre-draft prep could have been limited to attending the pro days at USC, Notre Dame and Arkansas.

  8. textexington says:Apr 30, 2012 10:49 AM

    It honestly makes no difference WHO the Viqueefs draft,they’re still never gonna win the Superbowl.PLUS you chodes are gonna move to LA.Go Pack Go!LOLZ

    —————————————————

    I found your comment ironic, considering that you’re never going to win a Super Bowl either. Bet those pizza bagels taste, delicious, though, so you have that going for you!LOLZ.

  9. I’ve never been a fan of Spielman, but at this point, I can only compliment him on this draft. Kalil was the right pick, and coaxing the Browns into giving up three draft picks to move up one spot was solid work on his part. Harrison Smith was the top-rated free safety in the draft.

    Spielman also added help at CB, WR, and may have landed a steal in round 7 with Trevor Guyton at DT. In addition, we now have a kicker that can actually kick-off into the endzone.

    Kalil and Smith are intstant starters, and Josh Robinson likely will be later this year or next. We’ll see what the rest of the picks accomplish. But for now, this looks good.

    On the other hand, if Spielman had traded three picks to move up one spot, his critics would be all over him.

  10. Sevensixtwonato

    I did an interview with Nate Webster.

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    Touche…

  11. Not a Vikings fan but I am a huge Irish fan, and i watch everyone of their games. I will tell you that this kid can flat out play safety at the NFL level. He is a ball hawk and hits a ton. You doubters will see as soon as he takes the field for the Vikings. He is also a class act on and off the field!!

  12. I wanted this guy on the Pats. He sounds like he will be at worst a solid player and I value smart safeties a bunch. Look, there are really NOT that many good safeties out there now. It’s kind of disgraceful. So even if Smith is SOLID that probably puts him top 5 in the NFL.

  13. lbpackfan says:Apr 30, 2012 11:19 AM

    Didn’t the Vikings coaches fall in love with Tyrell Johnson too? LOL

    SKOAL!!!!!!!!

    ——————————-

    If your trying come across as a smart-@ss, at least try to be smart. It’s spelled ‘Skol’ not ‘Skoal’; ‘Skoal’ is a tabacoo not a Viking saying… Typical, stupid packer fan trying to sound clever

  14. textexington says:
    Apr 30, 2012 11:35 AM
    fijabbersman the Green Bay Packers have won 4 Superbowls including Superbowl XLV two years ago. You suck at this counting Superbowls thing.LOLZ.

    ————————————————–

    He wasn’t counting superbowl wins, he was calling you fat. You suck at this reading thing.

  15. Why is there still so much hate for the Vikings? Wake up dummies, this isn’t 2009 anymore…Brent is long gone.

  16. This philosophy sounds the exact opposite of what mayhew does in detroit, where he takes best talent available regardless of position of need. (See WR in 2nd round). However, mayhew’s early draft success, was likely inflated due to always picking so high—+1,2,13, so I guess time will tell which philosophy is the better of the two. I like spielmans explanation and it makes good sense, but what if you really need LT or you really need a S and the talent at that position just isn’t what it usually is in a given year? That’s where you get burnt reaching.

  17. Florio keeps erasing different people’s posts but we have to see these idiots write Viqueefs everyday. If you are going to edit posts just get rid of that lame brain stuff also.

  18. he was certainly a better pick than what the rest of the division did in the first round. I couldn’t stop laughing when the bears grabbed a 3-4 lb/de hybrid guy, or how about the lions drafting a oline man when I could throw on their defense’s backend, or how about the packers, way to pick a guy who played one game against an NFL calibre pick at tackle. So as far as the NFC north, Viking definitely won this draft, they addressed offensive line with the number 1 tackle and secondary with the number 2 safety.

  19. lbpackfan says:
    Apr 30, 2012 11:19 AM
    Didn’t the Vikings coaches fall in love with Tyrell Johnson too? LOL

    SKOAL!!!!!!!!

    ————
    ————

    WOW! You are from WI.

    It’s Skol, not “Skoal” like your mothers tin can

  20. Spielman has a serious man crush on Harrison Smith and the 4th rounder Rhett Ellison or whatever his name is.

    And apparently the scouting budget just covers USC, Notre Dame, and Arizona.

  21. Personally, I thought the Vikings draft was brilliant, except for that kicker in round 6 which was a head-scratcher to me.

  22. Packers fans are once again proving there there IQ’s and wonder lick scores are interchangeable. Simpletons. Vikes had a good draft plain and simple but everyone knows only time can determine that. Now go drink yourselfs into a drooling slurring stooper and see if there are any good looking animals around.

  23. textexington says:Apr 30, 2012 10:49 AM

    It honestly makes no difference WHO the Viqueefs draft,they’re still never gonna win the Superbowl.PLUS you chodes are gonna move to LA.Go Pack Go!LOLZ.
    _______

    You need to add a space even after punctuation. Wisconsin education.

  24. textexington says: Apr 30, 2012 11:35 AM

    fijabbersman the Green Bay Packers have won 4 Superbowls including Superbowl XLV two years ago. You suck at this counting Superbowls thing.LOLZ.

    —————————————————-
    Well, at least you have your Super Bowls in WI, because without them, you’d have nothing good at all.

  25. People keep saying how he might not be fast enough, but I don’t think that will be an issue.

    We went out and got some of the more speedy CBs in FA and the draft, so I really think Harrison’s smarts and ability to be in the right place at the right time plus his ability to tackle is really why the Vikings love him

    In a couple years he can become the leader of the secondary.

    Hey, he can’t get much worse than Tyrell Johson right?!

  26. scottieplongballs:
    “there there IQ’s” should be “their IQs”
    “wonder lick” should be “Wonderlic”
    “stooper” should be “stupor”
    Always glad to help out one of our highly cultured, more intelligent friends from across the river.
    And I really did think that the Vikings had a good, solid draft – as they should have, picking high in most rounds. They needed Kalil’s long arms for that reach on Smith, however.

  27. Being in Texas I guess it’s hard for me to understand the hatred that exists between the people in Minnesota and the people in Wisconsin. Seems like a hatred that is much deeper than having a favorite football team.

    Haven’t you boys ever heard of hate the sin but love the sinner?

    That’s what I do with my Packers loving friends… hate the Packers… not my friends.

    If that won’t work for you… just ignore the stupid people from Wisconsin like we do the Cowboys fans that surround those of us here in Texas who bleed purple. They won’t go away… but it will piss them off way more than any insult you can come up with.

  28. @ nflfollower & stavreafavre

    No reaches with Vikes early draft picks (now Ellison & the kicker are another story). Kalil was the 3rd rated player in the draft and Harrison was rated in the end of the 1st – top of the 2nd range. I do think the Vikes could have saved their 4th rnd pick and waited for Harrison, but understand why they went up to get him.

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