Spielman Speaks

The Vikings will meet the local media Thursday to talk draft, but Rick Spielman, referring to himself as a general manager, spoke with his old pallies at ESPN Tuesday and made some interesting comments about what direction the Vikings might be heading in.

The Vikings' top draft guys – VP of Player Personnel Rick Spielman and Director of College Scouting Scott Studwell – will speak before the local media tomorrow as part of their pre-draft press conference rituals (Brad Childress was also expected to take part). But Spielman got a jump on the process Tuesday, speaking with his old buddies at ESPN.

ESPN has become something of a re-jumping off point for coaches and execs. Denny Green joined a long list of former coaches that used the tube to let teams see his knowledge of the game and eventually got back in the saddle. Randy Mueller used his forum to get hired by the Dolphins and, a year ago this time, Spielman was breaking down 2006 draft prospects for ESPN.

Talking about the Vikings' choices at No. 7, Spielman led his former co-workers to believe that the Vikings will stay at the No. 7 spot, saying, "There are seven true blue-chip prospects available and we're going to get a very good player at that position."

He made it clear without mentioning names that if either Brady Quinn or JaMarcus Russell was still on the board, they would get strong consideration, saying, "The Vikings invested in the quarterback position last year, but if there is a player you believe can be a franchise-type quarterback, you have to strongly consider it."

Whether he was serious or not, Spielman let those from other teams that were listening know that LaRon Landry is also on their radar. When asked about what happens if both quarterbacks are gone, Spielman said, "It's not just the quarterback position we're looking at. It could quarterback or running back or be on the defensive side of the ball. There's the safety from LSU (Landry). He's a tremendous athlete."

Make no mistake. Spielman knew exactly what he was saying when he spoke on the air with ESPN Tuesday. Is he sending out a red herring to get the Falcons to work a deal with the Redskins in order to keep the team's options open at No. 7. If Landry goes before No. 7, the Vikings would be assured of getting one of the blue-chip players that could help immediately – Russell, Johnson, Quinn, DE Gaines Adams, OT Joe Thomas or RB Adrian Peterson.

We'll have to see if he's quite as forthcoming with the local media tomorrow.

* The potential of the Falcons moving on LaRon Landry took an interesting turn Tuesday, as the team sent a slew of team officials to the LSU campus to work out the safety. There have been rumors that the Falcons may swing a trade with the Redskins to move from No. 8 to No. 6 in order to secure Landry in the first round. There are some fears in Falcon Country that either the Redskins or the Vikings could snap him up.
* There has been chatter that the Raiders have e-mailed the representatives for Brady Quinn to let them know Quinn is in the mix for the No. 1 overall pick, but few people are buying it.
* There is also a building rumor that the Raiders might end up with Daunte Culpepper, which would greatly reduce the need to take a quarterback (if Culpepper is healthy enough to play this year) and the Raiders could instead take Calvin Johnson. While a lot of things would have to happen in three days to make that work – the Dolphins and Chiefs agreeing to a trade for Trent Green, the Dolphins cutting Pepp and Oakland signing him to a new contract – it doesn't look like there would be time to get it done. The Chiefs would have no reason to "help" the Raiders, who are in the same division and it would seem if the teams did all play nice, Oakland would still have to get rid of Randy Moss and his $10 million-plus base salary for this year. Good luck on that one, guys.

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