We've done a couple of different bits on Rick Spielman's press conference from the NFL Scouting Combine in Indianapolis. This will likely be the final one of those, as the General Manager of the Minnesota Vikings talks about how the team evaluates talent during the off-season prior to draft day. Enjoy!
On the process of evaluating prospects
"We put every prospect through the arsenal. What we do from a character background check, but how we interview, our psychological profiling on each player. We make our determinations and I rely on our experts in the area to tell us if potentially we can handle a player like, if he's going to be a good fit in our locker room or if this is a guy that we want to stay clear of because it's going to be an issue for us if we bring him into our building. Along with those opinions and sitting there face to face with that player and getting to know that player and having our coaches get to know those players, we're a very big believer in the interview process. Down at the Senior Bowl, we have our coaching staff interview everybody at their position. All our scouts, myself and Leslie will try to hone in on as many guys as we can. But to make sure we're bringing in that type of quality person, not only as a football player but as a fit in the locker room and what we're looking for off the field. Those are the things that we try to uncover and determine."
On the DT position of the draft
"We just got out of eight days of draft meetings and preset our board as we come down here and feel this is, at least in my opinion, one of the strongest defensive tackle classes that have came out in a while. And with the defensive ends and some pretty good offensive linemen also. I think this draft is - I don't know if I want to say sexy, but how splashy it's going to be from a media standpoint or from the fans' standpoint, but there is a lot of very, very good football players in this draft that are going to have a major impact on a lot of teams that may not be those recognizable names or those splash positions per se."
On how involved are his coaches in the draft process
"The one thing I think that helped us last year and where we had some success with the kids that we brought in last year was our scouts and our coaches had a huge meeting and identified what it takes from a characteristic standpoint and skill set standpoint to function in our schemes, offensively and defensively. By getting everybody on the same page, we identified guys as a Viking fit. Is this guy going to fit what we need him to do in his particular position? There are guys that are very good football players but they may not fit from a scheme standpoint. Our coaches get very heavily involved. We've got the initial board positioned right now. Those will get maneuvered as our coaches go out and get to know these kids here at the combine, if they go out to a couple spring workouts here and there, as we bring them in on the top-30 (visits) and as they go through their film evaluation, we will really hone in with the coaches opinion on whether he's going to fit what we need the coaches to do from a schematic standpoint or not, along with character and everything else."