The Minnesota Vikings are making greater use of analytics in their scouting process as General Manager Rick Spielman looks for any edge he can get.
But when it comes to who the Vikings selected in the draft and where they ranked among their position peers in the different drills at the NFL Scouting Combine, only one of their picks really stood out.
It wasn’t running back Dalvin Cook, drafted in the second round after the Vikings traded picks to move up, although Cook had some measurements in the top 10 among the 33 running backs at the Combine.
In fact, of all the big winners at the Combine, the one that landed with the Vikings – tight end Bucky Hodges – wasn’t selected until the sixth round. Financial consultants like to remind clients that past performance isn’t indicative of future results, and Olympic-style events don’t always translate to the NFL. In the case of Hodges there are limitations in his blocking game, but clearly the athleticism as a receiver at the tight end position was one of the best.
At 6-foot-6, he was second in height among tight ends at the Combine and was fifth in weight at 257 pounds. While his arms (32½ inches) were only 16th of the 19 tight ends there and his 20-yard shuttle (4.45 seconds) was tied for 12th, he was top 10 in many other categories.
He was first in the vertical jump at 39 inches and broad jump at 11-foot-2, fourth in the 60-yard shuttle (12.08), fifth in the 40-yard dash (4.57) and seventh in hand size (10-1/8) among tight ends.
Among the other top-five finishers for Vikings draft picks on offense were Cook finishing fourth among running backs with 22 reps of 225 pounds in the bench press and guard Danny Isidora finishing fifth among 47 offensive linemen in the 40-yard dash (5.03) and third in the 10-yard dash (1.73).
The rest of the rankings for the Vikings’ offensive picks (including Rodney Adams, Stacy Coley and Pat Elflein) are below – the raw numbers on the first line and the ranking among their position below that – but it’s clear that while analytics may be playing a bigger role, they are hardly the overriding factor in Vikings’ selections.
|Cook, Dalvin||Florida St||RB||5103||210||32 3/8||9 1/4|
|Hodges, Bucky||Virginia Tech||TE||6060||257||32 1/2||10 1/8|
|Adams, Rodney||South Florida||WO||6012||189||32||9|
|Coley, Stacy||Miami-FL||WO||5117||195||32 1/4||9 3/4|
|Elflein, Pat||Ohio St||OC||6025||303||33 1/4||9 3/4|
|Isidora, Danny||Miami-FL||OG||6033||306||33||9 7/8|
|NAME||40 (O)||225||VJ||BJ||20S||60S||# Comp|