I found a very interesting article on the Bleacher Report titled "Dispelling Fans Biggest Misconceptions of the NFL Draft". It was written by featured columnist Greg Gabriel who has spent nearly 30 years in the NFL in scouting. It gives us good information and some insight into what happens on draft day and how things are decided. Of particular interest to me is the paragraph below regarding who makes the final decision because it gives us a glimpse of who is/was responsible for the picks the Vikings made. Some on the DN, including a highly vocal select few want to lay all the blame at the feet of Spielman despite the fact that he had not complete control of the roster until recently. I give you the section now:
Who Makes the Final Decision on Draft Day?
Many believe that the decision on who a team decides to draft belongs to just one person. In my years with the Giants and the Bears that was not necessarily the case. It was always a collective decision in which the scouts, coaches and the general manager all had input. No matter if it was the first round or the seventh round, every single choice was discussed.
Going into a draft, teams always have certain players that they will target in certain rounds. If everything goes as planned, it's easy to make the decision because the priority of which player to take has been discussed in meetings.
If they go into a draft and are fixated on taking one particular player, they will be heartbroken. While that player may be there sometimes, he isn't going to be there all the time. That's why teams have to have a list of several players ready for each round. Prioritize each player on the list, and if the top player is gone then go to number two.
Everyone gets involved in the conversation when discussing how these players are prioritized. I always had a rule, you could only talk about a player if you wrote a report on him. When it came time to talk about player A, all who saw him would be involved in the discussion. We would talk about his talent, character, and how he would fit within the scheme. If the consensus was that he was a player we wanted then he was put on the list. If we couldn't reach a consensus opinion, then the player was eliminated.
In saying that, the room wasn't necessarily a democracy. The GM's and head coach's votes generally carried more weight than some of the other people. If a final decision had to be made, the person who has control of the 53-man roster was one who made the final decision.
On each club in the NFL, there is one person who is the ultimate boss. Regardless of what title a person may have, the man who controls the final roster is the boss. By league rules, there is only one person on each club who carries that designation. In most cases, it's either the head coach or the general manager. However, if that person is going to pull rank and not listen to his subordinates, mistakes are often made.
Just like football is a team game, so is the art of scouting and drafting. It should never be one person's decision, it should always be a collective decision. When that happens, everyone involved in the process is happy and feels like they are a part of the team and part of the decision.
This confirms what many of us believe in that many of the gaffes of previous drafts were not ALL on Spielman but definitely a group decision and probably rank was pulled by Klink as well as Musgrave, who probably had significant input into the Ponder selection. Now that Spielman has full control is when we can start grading him more fully and fairly on what he is able to do with the roster. Thoughts?
P.S. The entire article is well worth the read.
This FanPost was created by a registered user of The Daily Norseman, and does not necessarily reflect the views of the staff of the site. However, since this is a community, that view is no less important.