Why Doesn't Rick Spielman Draft Golden Gophers?

BleedGopher

Well-known member
Joined
Nov 11, 2008
Messages
52,281
Reaction score
2,151
Points
113
per Nik:

WHY WON’T SPIELMAN DRAFT GOPHERS?
There can only be two reasons for this. The first and worst reason is that he doesn’t want to be labeled lazy or get the notion that he’s a “homer” for taking players from the Gophers’ program. Maybe Spielman doesn’t want to be seen as a general manager who drafts players for fan service, taking names from their college team that he knows will excite them and be instant favorites. Perhaps though, he does this in what he sees as a favor to these players. Maybe he passes on these prospects to avoid putting them in a situation where the expectations and hopes for success are too high for them ever to match.

Spielman has only selected one Golden Gopher in his tenure as the Vikings’ general manager. In 2010, he used a fifth-round choice on Minnesota linebacker Nate Triplett. This was a bit of a shocker at the time as Triplett was seen as a fringe draft prospect. Nonetheless, hopes were high that he could provide some quality depth while becoming a core special teamer.

Triplett was cut before the season started. He hung around the league for a little while, spending time on the Los Angeles Chargers’ practice squad and eventually signing with the Indianapolis Colts. The Colts cut him in 2011, and the following year he signed with Tampa before leaving the team in the 2012 preseason.

If one of these is the reason for Spielman passing on Gophers, he needs to get over it. The Gophers’ program is in good hands and will continue to churn out successful NFL players. If Spielman continues to pass on these prospects because it would be a “homer pick,” or if the failure of Nate Triplett haunts him to this day, he’s going to miss out on some quality football players down the road.


Go Gophers!!
 

Stan

Well-known member
Joined
Nov 20, 2008
Messages
3,719
Reaction score
387
Points
83
He drafted Nate Triplett, so there was that.
 

MaxyJR1

Well-known member
Joined
Nov 20, 2008
Messages
7,779
Reaction score
540
Points
113
How many gophers have been drafted since Spielman was General Manager is the question to ask. They draft best on their board and positions of need. Just like recruiting there are reasons that 31 other teams pass on guys.

They likely also think they have an in when signing guys to UFA contracts after the draft because they've done due diligence.
 

A_Slab_of_Bacon

Well-known member
Joined
Sep 21, 2015
Messages
15,954
Reaction score
2,777
Points
113
How many gophers have been available and ranked around where Spielman & co were picking compared to other players?

Probabbly not a lot. I'm guessing this is just more random chance than anything.
 

MNVCGUY

Well-known member
Joined
Oct 8, 2011
Messages
9,432
Reaction score
2,173
Points
113
I could be totally wrong on this but I highly doubt they give a ton of thought as to where a guy went to college in regards to whether they want to draft him or not. In otherwords I would be shocked to find that Spielman would pass on the top player on their draft board simply because he was a Gopher or that he would exclude players from their draft board on the basis of them playing at the U of M.

This is an example of the "one of us" obsession that some fans have up here. We see it with the hand wringing that goes on in the recruiting threads about not signing more Minnesota kids.

Love that the writer thinks there can ONLY be 2 reasons the Vikings don't draft Gophers. Spielman doesn't want to be seen as making lazy homer picks OR he is haunted by a draft pick that didn't work out in 2010. Yeah, can't be any other possible reasons.... :)
 

BroncoRedux

Well-known member
Joined
Jul 16, 2015
Messages
1,028
Reaction score
118
Points
63
"I could be totally wrong on this but I highly doubt they give a ton of thought as to where a guy went to college in regards to whether they want to draft him or not"

Au contraire, where a college football player plays has a significant influence on general managers. The numbers bear me out.
 

HopHead

rank lieutenant
Joined
Nov 12, 2008
Messages
1,141
Reaction score
59
Points
48
Rick Spielman has been with the Vikings since 2006. According to this gophersports.com listing, 23 Gophers have been drafted since 2006. Here is the details of them per NFL team:

49ers
0​
Bengals
0​
Bills
0​
Browns
0​
Cardinals
0​
Chargers
0​
Colts
0​
Eagles
0​
Lions
0​
Panthers
0​
Raiders
0​
Saints
0​
Seahawks
0​
Bears
1​
Chiefs
1​
Cowboys
1​
Dolphins
1​
Giants
1​
Jaguars
1​
Packers
1​
Patriots
1​
Rams
1​
Ravens
1​
Redskins
1​
Steelers
1​
Texans
1​
Titans
1​
Vikings
1​
Broncos
2​
Buccaneers
2​
Falcons
2​
Jets
2​

So there are 13 teams that drafted less Gophers (0) than the Vikings, 14 teams that drafted the same number (1) and only four teams that drafted more (2). So unless your argument is that the home team should draft more local players regardless of talent evaluation, you could ask the same exact question about 28 out of 32 NFL teams.
 
Last edited:

MNVCGUY

Well-known member
Joined
Oct 8, 2011
Messages
9,432
Reaction score
2,173
Points
113
"I could be totally wrong on this but I highly doubt they give a ton of thought as to where a guy went to college in regards to whether they want to draft him or not"

Au contraire, where a college football player plays has a significant influence on general managers. The numbers bear me out.
Alabama, Clemson, Ohio State.....bring in the most talented high school recruits....so it makes sense that they also produce a lot of NFL players.

I have no doubt that where a kid played in college factors into the entire evaluation process of an athlete but I highly doubt it is a major factor. For example you will probably value the on field performance of a kid who excelled in the SEC over a similar player that excelled in say the MAC.

But look at how much stock the teams put in the combine, interviews, and pro days. No GM in their right mind is going to draft a kid just because they played at Alabama or not draft a kid because they played at Minnesota. They have too much money riding on it to exclude players who might be able to help them simply based on the college they played at.

The writers story is crap, Spielman makes mistakes in the draft all the time, every GM does. But he doesn't intentionally not draft Gophers. That idea is just foolish.
 

MNVCGUY

Well-known member
Joined
Oct 8, 2011
Messages
9,432
Reaction score
2,173
Points
113
Rick Spielman has been with the Vikings since 2006. According to this gophersports.com listing, 23 Gophers have been drafted since 2006. Here is the details of them per NFL team:

49ers
0​
Bengals
0​
Bills
0​
Browns
0​
Cardinals
0​
Chargers
0​
Colts
0​
Eagles
0​
Lions
0​
Panthers
0​
Raiders
0​
Saints
0​
Seahawks
0​
Bears
1​
Chiefs
1​
Cowboys
1​
Dolphins
1​
Giants
1​
Jaguars
1​
Packers
1​
Patriots
1​
Rams
1​
Ravens
1​
Redskins
1​
Steelers
1​
Texans
1​
Titans
1​
Vikings
1​
Broncos
2​
Buccaneers
2​
Falcons
2​
Jets
2​

So there are 13 teams that drafted less Gophers (0) than the Vikings, 14 teams that drafted the same number (1) and only four teams that drafted more (2). So unless your argument is that the home team should draft more local players regardless of talent evaluation, you could ask the same exact question about 28 out of 32 NFL teams.
Your last point is absolutely what the author is trying to claim. Although he is approaching it from the idea that they intentionally don't draft Gophers because yeah....that totally makes sense.
 

UpAndUnder43

Well-known member
Joined
Jan 3, 2017
Messages
6,804
Reaction score
2,397
Points
113
Generally speaking the gophers don’t have good players that he can draft.
 

MNVCGUY

Well-known member
Joined
Oct 8, 2011
Messages
9,432
Reaction score
2,173
Points
113
Generally speaking the gophers don’t have good players that he can draft.
Gophers have had draft worthy players and over the years and Spielman has passed on many opportunities to draft former Gophers. The writer would have you believe there is some nefarious reason for this.

As opposed to the more obvious answer which would be that they passed on former Gophers because there was someone else on their draft board that they wanted more at the time.

You can tell just how clueless the author is based on this section from the story:

In 2019, the Vikings needed some linebacker depth, and Cashman kept falling down the board. This was an extremely productive guy in his college career with 183 total tackles, 31 tackles for a loss, and 12 career sacks. He would’ve competed for a starting spot with Ben Gedeon and Eric Wilson, and worst case would’ve been an excellent special teamer.

Instead of taking Cashman in Round three, four, or even five, Spielman kept trading down. He opted for quantity over quality, and by the time he was ready to pull the trigger, Cashman was sniped by the New York Jets. The Vikings did end up taking a linebacker, USC’s Cameron Smith, but he was cut in his rookie season, and Cashman went on to play in the NFL the same way he did in college with 40 tackles in seven games before getting injured.

I like Cashman and hope he has a long NFL career but the implication that the Vikings should have taken him in round 3 is just asinine. Over 2 years Cashman has managed to play just 11 games but somehow he was a massive miss by the Vikings on draft day?

This guy takes being a homer to a whole new level.
 

Some guy

Well-known member
Joined
Aug 1, 2014
Messages
8,789
Reaction score
1,848
Points
113
Generally speaking the gophers don’t have good players that he can draft.
100%

As for AWJ....they couldn’t pick him. They didn’t need a safety. For the Vikings he would be a nickel and return man year 1. Starter for whichever safety they don’t keep year 2 or 3.

Vikings thought they were win now mode. Drafted corners instead. Mistake to me. They aren’t that close and should be rebuilding not trying to patch together another 10-6 early playoff loss


As for TJ. TJ got more reps as the 5th wideout in Tampa than he would’ve gotten in Minnesota as the 3rd wideout. So count his blessings.
 

balds

Well-known member
Joined
Nov 22, 2008
Messages
2,622
Reaction score
323
Points
83
Spielman has only been the GM since 2012 (was VP of personal 2006-2012). Here's a look at the opportunities he had to draft Gophers (only included players who've played meaningful NFL minutes)

Player, Pick (Player Vikings took with their nearest pick ahead of where Gopher was selected)

2014 Ra'shede Hageman, 37 (Teddy Bridgewater, 32)
2014 Brock Vereen, 131 (Jerrick Mckinnon, 96) * didn't have a 4th round pick

2015 Maxx Williams, 55 (Erik Kendricks, 45)
2015 Damien Wilson, 127 (TJ Clemmings, 110)

2016 Eric Murray, 106 (Pat Elflein, 70)
2016 Devondre Campbell, 115 (Mackenzie Alexander, 54) *didnt have a 3rd round pick.

2017 Jalen Myrick, 222 (Ifeadi Odenigbo, 220)

2019 Blake Cashman, 157 (Dru Samia, 114)

2020 Antoine Winfield, 45 (Jeff Gladney, 31)
2020 Tyler Johnson, 161 (Troy Dye, 132) *had pick 155 but traded it for a 2021 4th round pick.
2020 Kamal Martin, 175 (Harrison Hand, 169)
 

Some guy

Well-known member
Joined
Aug 1, 2014
Messages
8,789
Reaction score
1,848
Points
113
Honestly that’s an interesting look. And the three biggest misses were all 2020

And it is because the Vikings didn’t realize they were rebuilding until about week 12
 

MNVCGUY

Well-known member
Joined
Oct 8, 2011
Messages
9,432
Reaction score
2,173
Points
113
Honestly that’s an interesting look. And the three biggest misses were all 2020

And it is because the Vikings didn’t realize they were rebuilding until about week 12
The thing about the draft is that outside of the sure things at the top of the draft it is super easy to second guess almost every pick and find an example of a player that a team should have drafted instead.
 

die hard gopher

Well-known member
Joined
May 20, 2013
Messages
9,132
Reaction score
592
Points
113
Spielman taking WR KJ Osborne from Miami in the 5th ahead of Tyler is really the only situation where I really would have liked to see him take the gopher instead and felt that the gopher fit his needs but he took a worse, non gopher instead.

Every other pick Spielman has made, I can justify him passing a particular gopher instead due to having a different need or a better player being available instead.

And I’m not trying to say he passed on Tyler because he played for the gophers or that he has an obligation to take gophers. Just that I thought it was a mistake.
 

Some guy

Well-known member
Joined
Aug 1, 2014
Messages
8,789
Reaction score
1,848
Points
113
The thing about the draft is that outside of the sure things at the top of the draft it is super easy to second guess almost every pick and find an example of a player that a team should have drafted instead.
Correct

And if you’re thinking you’re close...you draft need instead of potential


80% chance this guy is good at a spot we don’t need?
75% chance this guy is good at a spot we do need?


I think they missed in Winfield. Especially because the Vikings need a safety in 2022 at the latest. And they thought they were close and I didn’t think they were close. But if they snuck into the playoffs and gladney was a contibutor, they’re smarter

Crap shoot
 

Some guy

Well-known member
Joined
Aug 1, 2014
Messages
8,789
Reaction score
1,848
Points
113
Spielman taking WR KJ Osborne from Miami in the 5th ahead of Tyler is really the only situation where I really would have liked to see him take the gopher instead and felt that the gopher fit his needs but he took a worse, non gopher instead.

Every other pick Spielman has made, I can justify him passing a particular gopher instead due to having a different need or a better player being available instead.

And I’m not trying to say he passed on Tyler because he played for the gophers or that he has an obligation to take gophers. Just that I thought it was a mistake.
I don’t get it. They should never draft wide outs in late rounds.

They have 2 good ones and they only use two wideouts.
 

stocker08

Well-known member
Joined
Feb 2, 2009
Messages
23,021
Reaction score
4,444
Points
113
Spielman taking WR KJ Osborne from Miami in the 5th ahead of Tyler is really the only situation where I really would have liked to see him take the gopher instead and felt that the gopher fit his needs but he took a worse, non gopher instead.

Every other pick Spielman has made, I can justify him passing a particular gopher instead due to having a different need or a better player being available instead.

And I’m not trying to say he passed on Tyler because he played for the gophers or that he has an obligation to take gophers. Just that I thought it was a mistake.
I believe Osborne was taken after TJ was already gone. And I believe that they took him as a return specialist which TJ definitely was not.

I wouldn't doubt that Spielman has a "thing" against the Gophers. His son played for Nebraska and got trounced. Considering how many late round picks he acquires each year....and how many Gophers go in those rounds....I feel like a Gopher would end up here eventually. A number of low round Gophers have gotten playing time other than on special teams for their teams. I think it's an easier case to make that he SHOULD be looking at Gophers in the late rounds because they are being under-evaluated. Also because as a fan...I think the hometown angle should give an edge when you are talking about filling out a roster with probable special teams or practice squad guys.
 

MNVCGUY

Well-known member
Joined
Oct 8, 2011
Messages
9,432
Reaction score
2,173
Points
113
Correct

And if you’re thinking you’re close...you draft need instead of potential


80% chance this guy is good at a spot we don’t need?
75% chance this guy is good at a spot we do need?


I think they missed in Winfield. Especially because the Vikings need a safety in 2022 at the latest. And they thought they were close and I didn’t think they were close. But if they snuck into the playoffs and gladney was a contibutor, they’re smarter

Crap shoot
I actually don't think Winfield was a miss for the Vikings. CB was a massive priority for the 2020 season and Gladney looks like he could be a pretty solid player. As someone else mentioned, if they knew they weren't going to make the playoffs in 2020 then maybe you look at Winfield there for the future. But at the time Gladney made sense.
 

Some guy

Well-known member
Joined
Aug 1, 2014
Messages
8,789
Reaction score
1,848
Points
113
I actually don't think Winfield was a miss for the Vikings. CB was a massive priority for the 2020 season and Gladney looks like he could be a pretty solid player. As someone else mentioned, if they knew they weren't going to make the playoffs in 2020 then maybe you look at Winfield there for the future. But at the time Gladney made sense.
I think they should’ve known. Because they suck.
 

die hard gopher

Well-known member
Joined
May 20, 2013
Messages
9,132
Reaction score
592
Points
113
I believe Osborne was taken after TJ was already gone. And I believe that they took him as a return specialist which TJ definitely was not.

I wouldn't doubt that Spielman has a "thing" against the Gophers. His son played for Nebraska and got trounced. Considering how many late round picks he acquires each year....and how many Gophers go in those rounds....I feel like a Gopher would end up here eventually. A number of low round Gophers have gotten playing time other than on special teams for their teams. I think it's an easier case to make that he SHOULD be looking at Gophers in the late rounds because they are being under-evaluated. Also because as a fan...I think the hometown angle should give an edge when you are talking about filling out a roster with probable special teams or practice squad guys.
I would.

look at post #10 in this thread. 28 other teams have drafted the same amount of less gophers than Spielman since he has been GM.

There is way too much money at stake for Spielman to hold a grudge against gophers for something stupid like Nebraska and his son getting trounced by us. They have also trounced us as well when he was there.

And ultimately Spielman is going to do what he feels is best for the organization and if he feels their is the slightest difference in talent between two players in the late round and one is a gopher, he should take the player that he feels is a slightly better prospect.
 
Top Bottom