A recurring theme I have seen is the recent "good drafts" gave fans hope for the 2013 season. On the surface I took this at face value because lets face it, this team has had 5 First Round Picks in the last 2 years.
But looking into it, I am not sure this team has drafted well at all. I looked at the picks Since 2011. I choose 2011 because that is first year that Chilly did not have a say and from reports I have read, was the 1st draft that Spielman ran the show.
Here they are:
|1||Christian Ponder||1||Matt Kalil||1||Sharrif Floyd|
|2||Kyle Rudolph||1||Harrison Smith||1||Xavier Rhodes|
|4||Christian Ballard||3||Jarius Wright||1||Cordarrelle Patterson|
|5||Brandon Burton||4||Josh Robinson||4||Gerald Hodges|
|6||DeMarcus Love||4||Rhett Ellison||5||Jeff Locke|
|6||Mistral Raymond||4||Greg Childs||6||Jeff Baca|
|6||Brandon Fusco||5||Robert Blanton||7||Michael Mauti|
|6||Ross Homan||6||Blair Walsh||7||Travis Bond|
|7||D'Aundre Reed||7||Audie Cole||7||Everett Dawkins|
|7||Stephen Burton||7||Trevor Guyton|
I don't want to turn this into a "we shouldn'tve drafted Ponder." I think if we could turn back time, nobody would do that today. But we have seen that Spielman has been quick to trade mid round picks for upper round talent. This is a sound strategy if you are looking to build around a solid core of players and need just one-or-two playmakers to round the team out. However, I am not sure the Vikings were in that position - and the fact that Spielman didn't extend Frazier in the offseason tells me he is not sure about the direction of the team as well. You have to wonder if it was a sound strategy to trade all those picks for Patterson. There was some nice LB'er still on the board. You have to wonder why they have been unable to find that diamond in the rough guy - except for Punters and Kickers.
Which player on the above is a perennial pro-baller, and recognized as a top 4 guy at his position? I don't see many. I don't see guys who came out of the lower rounds and became an impact guy. I don't see the 1st rounders becoming stars who have elevated the team. Frankly, I don't see the draft impacting the team like it does for other good teams.
Its far too early to judge the 2013 class. Each of the 3 1st rounders, have shown a few good things. But at the end of week 3, I am not sure we can say that Spielman has drafted well at all. Has anyone drafted in 2013 from round 4 and down played at all in 2013? He has done a poor job finding depth in skill positions in the draft. He has a done a poor job bringing in competition for spots. The lack of talent, speed and instincts on this team is a key reason why the Vikes are 0-3.
How much of the blame for the poor start should fall at the feet of Spielman? Does this team need a total cleaning out which includes firing Spielman? - I am starting to think Yes.