It might have been missed by a number of people (including me), but Scott Studwell, director of college scouting for the Minnesota Vikings, stepped down from his position after the conclusion of the 2014 Draft. Since he has been with the Vikings for such a long time, I thought I would give a little recap of his time spent in the Vikings organization.
Scott Studwell first came to the Vikings organization as a linebacker drafted out of the University of Illinois in the 1977 Draft (9th round, Pick 250). When coming out of UI, Studwell was ranked second behind Dick Butkus in career tackles. After being drafted by the Vikings, Studwell went on to have 14 productive years with the Vikings. When he retired in 1990, he held multiple team records, including the single-season team tackling record, the single-game tackle record, and he is ranked #1 in Vikings history with 1,981 tackles. He is also the only player in Vikings history to have played with both Jim Marshall and John Randle. He was selected as a member of both the 25th and 40th anniversary season teams and was named one of the 50 Greatest Vikings in 2010. He was also selected to two Pro Bowls (back when that actually meant something) (1987 and 1988), was a three time All-Pro (1984, 1988, 1989), and has been inducted into the Vikings Ring of Honor.
As stated earlier, Studwell retired after the 1990 season. In 1991, he was the Assistant to the President and in player relations. He was then promoted in 1992 to player personnel coordinator, and he held that position until 2001. After the 2001 season, Studs was promoted again to the position of Director of College Scouting, and he has held that position from 2002-2014.
Here is a list of the players that Studwell has helped scout and bring into the Vikings organization: Bryant McKinnie, Kevin Williams, E.J. Henderson, Chad Greenway, Cedric Griffin, Ray Edwards, Adrian Peterson, Sidney Rice, Brian Robison, John Sullivan,Percy Harvin, Phil Loadholt, Everson Griffen, Christian Ponder, Kyle Rudolph, Matt Kalil, Harrison Smith, Sharrif Floyd, Xavier Rhodes, Cordarrelle Patterson and the Vikings’ 2014 draft class.
While not all of these picks panned out the way they were intended to, there is still a nice long list of successes in that group. He has been a good scout for the Vikings, and they are going to miss his experience in evaluating college kids.
It was announced that while Studs is stepping down from the position to spend more time with his family and to cut down on the massive amounts of travel that he would undergo every year to scout all the potential college prospects, he still intends to have a say in what the Vikings do in the draft. General Manager Rick Speilman has stated that the Vikings are working to carve out a role for Studwell to play for them in the draft. To replace him, Speilman announced that the Vikings were promoting Jamaal Stephenson to take his position as head of college scouting.
Stephenson has been with the Vikings in his own right for over a decade, and has been the assistant director of college scouting since 2009. Stephenson was also named the 2012 NFC Scout of the Year.
Skol on Studs, we are going to miss you!