Tice Diffuses Pick Controversy

Mike Tice sought out the media after the selection of Bryant McKinnie to address a growing controversy concerning the process of the selection.

It seemed like a natural question when it was asked. It was the answer that changed matters in the draft.

When Mike Tice and Frank Gilliam were addressing the media following the selection of Bryant McKinnie, the questioning turned to the obvious ending of the time clock for Dallas.

Tice was asked if the Vikings had the opportunity to slide in front of Dallas since the clock had elapsed on the sixth pick. After explaining that he had in fact authorized submitting a pick and thought it had got through, VU asked if the player on the card submitted was McKinnie -- expecting to hear a yes answer.

Instead Tice and Gilliam admitted that they had submitted the name of DT Ryan Sims, which elicited several follow-up questions that Tice finally had to say wouldn't be answered after a few minutes.

Tice later re-entered the media room to explain that there was a reason for submitting Sims name. While he views both Sims and McKinnie as two of four blue-chippers on the draft board, he explained that the Vikings could have addressed their need at left tackle on the second round, where they felt there were still players who could be quality starters. However, at pure nose tackle, there was no such depth.

"We graded players out as to whether we felt they could be starters with us this year or not," Tice said. "There were other offensive tackles that we thought could be players in that group. Other than Sims, we didn't see another nose tackle there. That's the reason we went the way we did."

Tice said when the Vikings were one pick away and both Sims and McKinnie were on the clock, they started high-fiving and back-slapping in the war room -- knowing they would get one player they coveted.

But the giddiness didn't start there. It happened at Pick No. 3.

"When Detroit took (QB Joey) Harrington, that was when we we did our first high-fives," Tice said. "I was going, 'Cmon (Detroit GM Matt) Millen. Do it!' When he took him at No. 3, I knew we were going to get one of the guys we wanted."

Tice also said that teams were calling as the Vikings came close to being on the clock, noteably the Giants and Cleveland, to get into the Vikings' spot, but he said the team had no interest with McKinnie available.

While the Vikings aren't locking in on any specific position for the second round, apparently content to take the highest player on their board. The plan is to address wide receiver, safety or defensive tackle, but if a player the Vikings have rated high is still available, anything is possible.

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