Vikings GM Rick Spielman has become known for his amazing ability to fill up a notebook saying anything...unless one is willing to read between the lines.
Here at DN,
I got drunk one night and started posting, I was tasked with deciphering what we've come to know as Rick Speak, and take his paragraphs of nothing, non- denials, and unequivocal statements that really are equivocal, and turn them into some useful information.
Over the last few days, Spielman has been interviewed by the Minneapolis beat writers regarding the draft WHICH STARTS TOMORROW ZOMG!!!!!!!1!1!!!!!...ahem, ‘scuse me...so let's break down what he's said.
Tom Pelissero reports that Spielman has been fielding calls about trading.
Rick said: The phone has been -- and whether you believe me or not, but I'm telling you -- it's been the most active it's been in a while because of where we've been picking. That's something that we're going to be very open to, because I think if we decide to go ahead and trade back in this draft, because of the depth at the positions of need that we have, we can still get a very similar player and potentially pick up some things either this year or next year.
What that means: Yeah, the phone's been active...because he's got two first round picks and they're BURNIN' A HOLE IN MAH POCKET WOOOOOO! The phone has been active not because teams are calling him, but because he's calling them.
Rick said: I don't see us right now looking to move up in the first round. But that could change.
What that means: The Vikings are so moving up in the first round. Remember, Percy Harvin wasn't going to be traded, right up until he was.
Rick Says: I think this is going to be one of most intriguing drafts I've been associated with because of the depth of the draft.
What that means: There's not a lot of top shelf talent, and GM's across the league would cut their grandma's achilles tendons if they could get a good deal. We're moving up to get an impact player, because he's got two draft picks and and they're BURNIN' A HOLE IN MAH POCKET WOOOOOOOOOO!
Rick Says: And to be honest with you (Ed note: LOLWUT), where we're picking at 23 and 25, we're looking at all our needs, from the whole defensive side of the ball to needs on the offensive side of the ball, trying to distinguish what makes this potential receiver better than this corner, better than this linebacker, better than this defensive end, better than this defensive tackle.
What that means: None of our scouts agree on anyone, and that means no matter who we draft, a sizeable portion of our fanbase is going to be disappointed and call for my head on a platter. If we stay where we are many of you will IMMEDIATELY draw comparisons to 2005. But hey...new uniforms WOOO!
Rick Says: A lot of it will be predicated on what happens with the quarterbacks. We've prepared ourself -- what if there's no quarterbacks taken before we pick and what kind of scenario could we be facing?
What that means: We're so taking Geno Smith if, by some random act of happenstance he's still on the board at 23. Or we're going to absolutely fleece someone wanting to move back into the first round. Cleveland? Sure, let's just say it's Cleveland. We did last year.
Tom P says Rick Says: Spielman met with the Vikings' coaches and scouts for 4 hours again on Tuesday morning, "hammering through different scenarios, different hotspots, not only in the first round (but) potential things we can do throughout the draft. Just looking at their faces right now, you can tell everyone's just tired of me -- tired of me asking questions, tired of me asking questions not for the first time but probably for the 500th time.
What that means: Rick is anal retentive about the draft, and everyone wants him to take a week off when this is over. He does 7 round mock drafts with the trades that make Mark go ‘holy crap, that would never happen.'
Rick also talked about a couple positions and position players, and how that might relate to the upcoming draft.
Tom P says Rick says: Asked if Erin Henderson was strictly considered a weak-side linebacker at this point, Spielman said, "No, that's flexible. That depends on what happens in the draft. If we go outside, Erin can slide inside or if we go inside Erin can play outside. That's what is great about this linebacker thing. We have the flexibility to go either way."
What that means: We're so gooned at linebacker right now. There's nothing great about not having a starting MLB on the roster, and we have to be so flexible because we're currently gooned. Did I mention we're gooned at the linebacker position right now?
Rick says: "I think Kevin Williams is one of the greatest defensive tackles to play that under (tackle) position," Spielman said. " ... I wish I could predict that (about another player), I don't know that but I know we feel very strongly about a lot of these defensive tackles in this draft."
What that means: Kevin Williams is one of the greatest defensive tackles to play that under tackle position. He's going to be missed when he retires, and isn't easily replaceable by anyone in this draft.
Obviously, I'm not a mind reader, and this was as much satire as it was speculation. I do know that Rick Spielman does like to do a lot of trading, and with two first round picks, six picks in the first four rounds, and 11 overall, don't be surprised to see the Vikings be even more active than they usually are.
Will they trade one of their picks and move down while acquiring more second or third round picks? It's very plausible, and he could also have an eye on next year by acquiring some early picks for 2014, as well. Remember, he already has one from Seattle.
And don't be surprised if/when they move up, not down, in the draft.