If you don’t want to know what the Vikings are going to do with the 11th pick in the 2015 draft, click away from this page.
The rest of us are waiting. Go away now!
Okay. They’re gone. Now we can discuss why the Vikings will not be picking at No. 11.
There are two “God spots” in the 2015 draft that, as things currently stand, two teams have been assigned – the Vikings and the Washington Professional Football Club (kid tested, Bellecourt approved).
There are two numbers the football media obsesses upon – the Final Four and Top 10. They share a reverence that has made both part of the sports culture. You may be an Elite Eight, but you’re not a Final Four. By unwritten law, blue chips quit being given out after 10.
That is what makes Pick Nos. 5 and 11 integral to the draft process.
Thirty-two teams stack draft boards. The top four picks are typically considered a done deal. They may go in alternate order, but the four we think are going are the four going. Until they don’t.
When there is a player a team covets, the No. 5 draft pick carries significant value for a franchise willing to jump up and add a player their scouting staff has triple-dog-vouched for and simply can’t wait for the dominoes to fall.
It only takes one partner to dance.
Thanks to the non-existent “you didn’t see nothin’” draft value chart, pick No. 5 becomes the last chance for an aggressive G.M. with big-picture thinking to make the jump up. Beyond No. 5, things get dicey. Those holding picks in those spots typically have a couple of players they’re comfortable with. It’s going to take a “Wow!” offer to get them off of Square One.
It is at this point that draft boards diverge and converge at the same time. There may be a player that a team has so high on its draft board that it is willing to give up an embarrassment of riches to get into that spot.
Pick No. 11 has a similar cache, just to a lesser scale of potential jaw-dropping offers. Pick No. 11 has value to every team that hasn’t picked and even those who have.
The phrase “consensus top-10 pick” is going to be tossed out with regularity by both the informed and uninformed in the coming months. When a consensus top-10 doesn’t get taken in the top 10, where does he fall? To No. 11.
Over the last three drafts, the Vikings have made seven of the 96 picks in the first round. Day 2 of the draft has been a “show up late, leave early” affair. Not much happening on Day 2.
But all signs point to a change in wind direction for those Day 2 tumbleweeds. Depending on how far they drop from the 11th pick, the Vikings could potentially ride the wave of dropping down instead of moving up. The chess game is on.
With the input of two vested veterans of draft weekends in Norv Turner and Mike Zimmer, strong opinions get formed when they see the “It Factor” in a player. Those players are available throughout the draft and, with the benefit of a full year of assessing the pluses and minuses of the existing roster, there are going to be strong opinions in play when it comes time to pull the trigger and submit a name.
Seven first-contract first-rounders are a burden/blessing no team in the modern era of the NFL has carried into second-contract fruition. Can you keep them all? How many do you keep? There is going to be a salary cap receipt due when the Vikings settle into their new indoor digs and the stories of how cold it was at The Bank gain exaggerated proportions. Keeping the band together won’t come cheap. As a result, the value in this year’s draft may be to move down, not up.
At their current spot, the odds of moving up for a fourth straight year to lock down multiple first-round picks just doesn’t make logical sense. If there is a player they just can’t do without at No. 11, they stand pat and the let the draft grind its way back to their next scheduled pick. That’s not Rick Spielman’s style.
The current view of those providing views is that that Vikings are going to take a wide receiver with the 11th pick in the draft. That supposition is wrong on two fronts. The Vikings won’t take a wide receiver at No. 11 and, even if they wanted to, they won’t be picking at No. 11. Trading down is the move. Let Zimmer and Turner begin stocking their carts with ingredients they’re familiar with.
We’re going to smell what they’re cooking soon enough. If successful, we may see the return of the Triangle of Authority.
If not, Amari Cooper is still there and the spoiler alert was a bit pre-emptive.
Holler: Vikings have one logical draft move
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