The biggest shock of Day 2 of the NFL Draft for the Minnesota Vikings wasn't the fact that they took another edge rusher. It wasn't the fact that they took a triple option quarterback with the intention of playing him as a change-of-pace running back. It wasn't the fact that they continued to ignore addressing the cornerback position.
It was the fact that Rick Spielman didn't make a trade all day. "We did try to make some moves, but we couldn't find any that we were comfortable with. That said we were able to add two very good football players."
Those football players were Scott Crichton and Jerick McKinnon. Spielman likes that Crichton can play all over the defensive line along with base defensive end. In what has become a recurring theme of the weekend, Spielman emphasized how Crichton was a "great kid".
He introduced McKinnon as a "runner" with a chuckle due to the uncertainty around where McKinnon would play--the 5'9" player from Georgia Southern played triple option quarterback along with some running back in college. "He had one of the most interesting workouts I've ever seen in the Spring...they worked him out as a running back, as a punt returner, and a defensive corner. He was just from an athletic standpoint too good to pass up, too explosive of a player."
Spielman said that McKinnon's Pro Day was one of the longest he had ever seen due to the multiple position drills he went through. "NFL teams got their money's worth; he didn't blink an eye. He just kept going."
Before you start getting visions of "Joe Webb II" running through your head, Spielman was quick to clarify on multiple occasions that the Vikings plan on bringing McKinnon in as a change of pace, third down back. McKinnon had a few technical issues when the team saw him at the Senior Bowl but Spielman thinks Norv Turner and his staff will be able to correct them. McKinnon seemed more than willing to learn and improved as the week went along.
Spielman explained that drafting Crichton was part of an objective to revamp the defensive line in the draft. "In this division it's very important to be able to rush the passer because of the type of quarterbacks that we face. I know that [Zimmer] likes to use that wave to be able to keep the defensive line fresh. With what we were able to do in free agency and in the draft that we're going to have a pretty good line up front." He emphasized that "you can never have enough defensive linemen".
The defensive line appears to be fairly squared away but the Vikings still haven't added to their defensive backfield yet this weekend. "That'll come," Spielman explained. "You also have to remember that you are not done when the draft's done," which seems to be hinting that the team will look to add a defensive back or two via undrafted free agents as well as addressing it in the final day of the draft.
The press conference ended with Rick Spielman asking a question to the media for once: "What's the score of the Wild game?"
Don't worry, Rick. The Wild took care of business on Friday. Now it's your turn to finish your business on the final day of the draft.
As it stands right now, the Vikings have four picks remaining in the 2014 Draft:
- Round 5, Pick 5 (145 overall) (from Browns)
- Round 5, Pick 8 (148 overall)
- Round 6, Pick 8 (184 overall)
- Round 7, Pick 8 (223 overall)