Player elimination process continues

The Vikings continue to hone their draft board at the NFL Scouting Combine, and that means completely eliminating some draft picks from consideration because of various character questions. The Vikings' stance on character of late is pretty clear, and it's Rick Spielman's job to find out which issues are deal-breakers and in which cases they feel the issues are in the past.

The NFL draft is still two months away, but Vikings vice president of player personnel Rick Spielman said the team already had taken some players off its board because of various issues.

"(There are players we) probably won't even have the coach's do on film because I know we know we're not going to waste their time with those players," Spielman said, adding, that "it's everything," that can cause someone to be removed. "It can be off the field to coach-ability to learn-ability. It's not just one specific thing."

Spielman said he knows exactly what ownership and coach Brad Childress want and that if a player doesn't meet that criteria the Vikings will pass.

"It comes down from ownership," Spielman said. "It comes down from Brad and what type of players he wants in the locker room. My job is to make sure I understand what type of people we want on this football team, that's not only going to represent us on the field but off the field as well.

"As you know there are always going to be issues here and there, but we do our due diligence. Guys that do have a history we take that extra step to make sure that we feel very comfortable."

The Vikings do extensive work in getting on- and off-the-field scouting reports on draft prospects. While the Vikings were able to talk to 60 players at the combine, they also conducted interviews with every player who attended the Senior Bowl.

The Vikings won't talk to the same players at the combine that they met with at the Senior Bowl.

"We try and interview 300 to 350 players just to make sure we do get in front of these players," Spielman said. "You want to get to know these players to see if he's the type of football player we want to bring into the organization."


  • The Vikings released kickoff return man and running back Maurice Hicks after only one season. Hicks did not provide the special-teams spark the Vikings expected. He averaged 23.8 yards on 29 returns and eventually lost his job late in the season to rookie Darius Reynaud.

    Hicks also missed two games early in the season because of a foot injury and had a costly fumble in the fourth quarter of a loss at Tampa Bay. It would not be surprising if Reynaud got a chance to return kicks in training camp. Reynaud averaged 25.1 yards on eight returns but was sidelined by a foot injury shortly after getting the return job.

    Hicks, who spent his previous four seasons with San Francisco, did not have a rushing attempt.

  • The Vikings hired Diron Reynolds to replace Brendan Daly as their assistant defensive line coach. Daly left the Vikings after three seasons to become the defensive line coach for the St. Louis Rams. Reynolds spent the 2007 season as the line coach for the Miami Dolphins but was fired after that season as the team made wholesale changes in its coaching staff. Reynolds, who is the older brother of former Packers defensive end Jamal Reynolds, had been the defensive quality control coach with the Indianapolis Colts from 2002 to ‘06. During that time, Reynolds spent two seasons working with Leslie Frazier. Frazier is now the Vikings defensive coordinator.

  • The Vikings plan to continue bringing in all their draft prospects on the same day this spring. The team does not have players visit individually.

    QUOTE TO NOTE: "There are guys that I know right now, they can come in in a tuxedo and serve wine and cheese and I don't know they would get back on our board." — Vikings vice president of player personnel Rick Spielman on what it takes for a player who has been taken off the team's draft board to get back on by impressing the team with his combine interview.

  • Viking Update Top Stories