As regular readers of this site are aware, I've conducted on-line classes in Rickspeak for awhile now. Our latest on line TED TALKS (how have I not used that until now? HOW??) was just posted awhile ago, and Rick discusses the draft, obviously. We took it apart, line by line, but I want to look at something in even a little more detail.
Specifically, his reference to mock drafts, who guys are picking at number eight...and who they aren't picking. Spielman was asked about all the mock drafts that have been published, and he said, in reply:
I've read the mocks. Everybody reads the mocks because we're tired of yelling at each other. At night I read the mocks, kind of get caught up on things. You guys are missing some names on our spot at 8, I can tell you that.
Hmmmmm. I take three things away from this:
1) Everyone...EVERYONE... is sick of waiting two extra weeks for the Draft. Seriously Roger, don't make it permanent.
2) He thinks everyone sucks at mock drafts, because...
3) He wants people to think they have a mystery guy no one is thinking about that they're going to select.
Let's look at option three, because I think I'm solid with the first two. This is classic Spielman--generating interest, real or imagined, to try and spook a team into making a trade, when he had no intention of picking said player.
Let's go back to the 2012 draft, the Vikings were picking third, the Browns fourth. Everyone, and I mean EVERYONE knew the Vikings were going to draft Matt Kalil. But depending on who and what you believe, Spielman convinced Cleveland that another team was interested in RB Trent Richardson, and were willing to trade up to three to get him. The Browns (LOLOL Cleveland) bought it, moved up one spot, and gave the Vikings their 4th, 5th, and 7th round pick.
But let's look at the 'guy no one is thinking about' theory, again using the 2012 draft as our template. After Spielman swung the trade with Cleveland and still got Kalil, he was flying pretty high, and now he had ammo to make another move. He moved up six spots, from the top of the second round and into the bottom of the first, by using one of those Browns picks to make a trade with Baltimore. They used that pick to nab S Harrison Smith, a guy no one had tied to the Vikings. As a matter of fact, in the introductory press conference for Smith and Kalil, it was revealed the Vikings didn't invite him to Winter Park, didn't interview him, and Smith, essentially, had no idea the Vikings were interested.
So I have no doubt that Rick Spielman is telling a half-truth here, it's just what version of the truth you want to believe. Is he beating the woods to try and smoke out a team with another trade, or is he looking at a guy no one, and I mean no one, has pegged going to the Vikings?
Thankfully, a little over 24 hours from now, we'll know.