Rick Spielman under pressure not to take a corner

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The Vikings have spent some recent draft capital on cornerbacks, selecting three in the first round of the past six drafts. Of the eight first-rounders in that stretch, the Vikings took Xavier Rhodes 25th in 2013, Trae Waynes 11th in 2015 and Mike Hughes 30th in 2018.

They also used a second-round choice on cornerback Mackensie Alexander in 2016.

So General Manager Rick Spielman has been told in no uncertain terms that he will not use a first-round pick on a cornerback this year.

“Everybody has angst,” Spielman said Tuesday. “My wife . . . I’ll leave that at home. She said, ‘If you draft another corner, don’t come home. You can just stay at the office.’ Although there’s some pretty good corners that we like in the first round.”

The question was about the Vikings’ need for offensive linemen. The Vikings, though, aren’t willing to reach for an offensive lineman when it’s their time to select.

“I understand where everything is, but I also understand that if we have a guy that we think is a Pro Bowl talent, and for some reason that guy falls to us at 18, how do you not take that player?” Spielman said. “Plus, you have to balance out the depth at each position, too. If there’s a unique situation where a Pro Bowl-caliber player falls to you at 18, and you’re taking a lesser talented player, I think you’re going to make a mistake. But I also believe with the depth at certain positions, when it goes into the Friday draft, you’re also going to get some pretty significant players. We always look as we make the decisions, you have a player at this position and a player at this position, and which one are you going to take? We can say we’re going to take this one because underneath him, there’s a huge drop off [in the position groups’ talent]. So if we don’t take him right here, we’re not going to get a need filled with a good player. If there’s four or five more players underneath that we do like, that’s when the potential is to take the one of those guys that falls to you. It could also be trading back in the draft to accumulate more draft picks, because we’re still going to get that same value of player as long as we have those four or five names there. You also have to really pay attention to where the run of the positions go in the draft.

“Two years ago, we had to move up to get Pat Elflein, for example, because there was a run right in there, and he was one of the few players left that we liked. Last year the run on the offensive linemen went earlier than where we picked. You have to weigh all that out, and you have to be able to react once you see how that board is coming off and where the runs are on positions.”

33 responses to “Rick Spielman under pressure not to take a corner

  1. You can blame Spielman for the offensive line but you Can easily blame the coaching staff. I said this once before, but the New England Patriots seem to be able to coach up offense of line men and a matter how late they acquire them. It seems like almost none of our middle round draft picks for the offensive line work out. By contrast, the patriots draft them in the later rounds and Turn them into all pros. We need todo a better job of identifying and developing line talent. If we have to acquire only top draft picks for the o-line, It will hurt us eventually in the skill positions. We seriously need to upgrade our offensive line coaching, Then we won’t spend so much time worrying about Spielman’s draft.

  2. Look, I don’t give two craps about who is left at 18. Take an Offensive Lineman Rick, or the fan base will absolutely rebel on this team immediately. And take another one in round 2 and maybe one more in round 3. Then hope two of three are immediate starters.

  3. CB, offensive lineman, hell the Viking fans will be thrilled if he could just get his pick in on time. The only franchise known to be late to the podium with its pick, not once, but twice.

    That and Spielman couldn’t draft a QB to save his life (ok, that’s an exeggeration, save his job is more like it, see Miami for proof of that) But somehow he manages to keep his job.

  4. Decent Offensive lineman can be had in the other rounds. If there is a stud lineman is at 18, then yeah take him but if not take the best available player on the board. In rounds 2,3,4th rounds you can find a decent starter. I agree fans are going overboard with this. Every team in the NFL is drafting offensive linemen they get hurt often and the college game doesn’t prep lineman for the NFL game very well.

  5. He’s a pretty good GM. Carve some injuries away (which are impossible to predict) and Spielman’s draft record would look even better. Tricky Ricky has been around and (at least in the eyes of other NFL GMs) is respected. He’s reached/failed on some high picks, but (with the help of some great scouts) Spielman’s absolutely killed it in the lower rounds and UFAs, The ownership clearly trust him and Zimmer.

    Maybe Minnesota moves up and gets the best O-lineman available? I can see them burning some draft capital to get 3-4 starting quality guys. The Vikings don’t have money to pay 10-picks.

  6. Rick Spielman is a Mortician.

    True he killed our franchise. Smith, Rhodes, Waynes, Barr, Kendricks, Hunter… And of course, Ted ‘build through the draft’ Thompson drafting bust after bust didn’t help.

  7. “Last year the run on the offensive linemen went earlier than where we picked.”

    No Rick, the run didn’t go earlier than where you picked and quit putting lipstick on a pig. There’s a guy named Will Hernandez. Ever heard of him? I’m sure Cousins would love to have him right about now!

  8. The mindset of Spielman is exposed right here, he doesn’t believe the Offensive Line isn’t an important part of the team. Instead of him saying he wouldn’t reach for an O lineman. If there isn’t a superb Tackle in all of the players in the draft at number 18, he needs to trade up! He simply believes that line is a low team priority! He even said one time he could make ANY big guy a starting lineman, if that doesn’t prove it, just look at the past 8 or 9 years under his watch! Minnesota’s O-line has been horrible and they are ALWAYS injured! The reason is men that are over matched getting beat by the defense and getting hit while bent at bad angles!!!. It is also why the Cowboys usually have a superb rushing game because JJ knows the importance of a superb Offensive line!

  9. O-line, DT, and possibly TE(Hockenson, if he falls). I’d be ok with a highly ranked player that fits our scheme at one of these positions in the first round. If it’s not an o-lineman in round one, it might need to be one in both the second and third rounds. A later round WR that seems to be under the radar is Keesean Johnson out of Fresno State. Not sure why he gets no love, but I’d love to see the Vikings acquire him.

  10. Their first pick needs to be an OL. Spielman has drafted fairly well in other areas, but he keeps attempting to build the OL using the bargain bin, and it hasn’t worked.

    This season will decide whether both Zimmer and Spielman continue on in their current posts. The Viking roster has a lot of quality, but last year the results didn’t measure up. Another season without a playoff birth will mean the end of the road for Spielman and Zimmer with the Vikings. For that reason alone, the first pick must address the team’s weakest link.

  11. In 2012 the Vikings HAD to draft a LT. We needed a LT and Matt Kalil was there. It made perfect sense except for the part where the Vikings had 2 non-quarterbacks graded higher than Kalil. That was Luke Kuechly and Fletcher Cox. Do you think that doesn’t still anger Rick that he took the player he HAD to instead of taking a higher graded player? Point is, take an OL at 18 of there is a player worthy of the spot. If the top OL are gone dont pass on better talent to satisfy a fanbase

  12. I see them trading T Waynes (because they will not be able to sign him next year) and a # 2 for a # 1 and getting 2 OL with those picks

  13. Spielman & Brzezinski have built up great talent thru the draft, so it is hard to argue with Spielman’s thought process.

    However, the window is only so wide & last year with the disaster at OL combined with a 1st year QB that was heavily invested in, is a situation that CANNOT be repeated.

    A nightmare scenario for the Vikings is that they do not go OL due to “value,” then end up on the wrong side of the run during rounds 2-4 when there are teams that have OL needs in front of them.

    It seems like a trade up for higher % OL stud or trading up in 2-4 may be warranted.

    The fans will whine for ANY pick outside of OL, but as Buddy Ryan once said: “If you listen to the fans, you’ll be sitting up there with them.”

  14. Well Rick, if you had addressed the offensive line in earlier drafts, as you should have, you wouldn’t be in a position now where you have to draft a specific position in the first round. Drafting the best player available is great except when you have a specific need and no other way to fill it. You need at least one and probably two new starters on the offensive line and the bargain bin free agents that are left aren’t an option. With the amount of money spent to acquire and keep the talent on the roster, you have to win right now. You can’t pretend you’re drafting for the future.

    Now if your first-round pick comes up and all the best offensive linemen are gone and you love a guy at a different position, by all means take him. But then you’d better be prepared to trade up in the second round to get a Dalton Risner or somebody because you can’t afford to wait and see if you get lucky like last year. If the run comes earlier than you pick, get up and pick during the run.

  15. i am at the point where i don’t trust spielman drafting offensive players in the 1st round. you know what, go draft a corner. it’s the only thing you do well! he will mess up whatever offensive player he plans on drafting in the 1st round!

  16. In the first 3 rounds they should really pick 2 OL and 1 DL but they probably won’t. It will be hard for him to move up to grab someone they want, they currently only have eight picks.

  17. Its pretty simple – Cousins needs more protection. He has limited ability to avoid the rush. While he has great arm he runs into D lineman. So you invest 28 million on a guy with 3 starting offensive lineman. They have to take a lineman based on the situation they are in. No corner

  18. Win win situation for viking fans….if we draft 3 olineman with first 3 picks we have a chance of improving our bottom 5 oline the last 5 yrs plus to maybe middle of the pack. Great idea if u want to run the ball (for a rb we traded up for in the deepest rb class in the history of the nfl that has so far produced little to nothing) and not get your expensive qb (acquired thru agency account Spiel has NEVER been able to draft a starting qb in his tenure with any team, chk the facts, which happens to be the most important position on the field) killed ….if Spielman doesn’t draft 3 offensive linemen in the first three rounds he and defensive guru head coach Zim will be looking for new jobs. As for the great Zim,if u need all 1st rd and other super high picks at all your cornerback and defensive positions to have a good defense …well maybe ur not such a great coach just a good manager. Im a lifetime Viking fan and can smell fraud when i see it….if that makes any sense. Do u trust these 2? Under Spielman the Vikes have the worst winning percentage in club history. But, hey, draft is here, there’s hope right? Yes, hope for new leadership!!

  19. Because im drinking the purple coo-laid i see the Vikes trading Trey Waynes for a first this yr and first and second next year and maybe a 3rd and 5th the year after. We should be able to solidify our o line then.

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