Hello everyone! This is officially my first ever post for football, Vikings, draft, and analysis. I was asked to do an article due to the information I gathered this off season. What did I gather you ask?
Well I gathered information about the NFL Draft prospects posted from the likes of Proudhorn (https://twitter.com/Proudhorn) from twitter and Darren Wolfson “Doobie” from twitter (https://twitter.com/DWolfsonKSTP) for Vikings meetings with prospects, or interest. I also gathered information from Arif Hasan (https://twitter.com/ArifHasanNFL) who writes for the Athletic, he has athletic threshold information to help narrow down specific types of players. Arif Hasan also put together a consensus big board from experts in the field like Dane Brugler and Matt Miller; I used this information also to take into account a few things.
For those that would like to see what exactly I’m talking about when I say I have compiled information, here is the link:
It is a little messy yes, however, do a little moving around and looking and you will see that the Vikings really did focus on some select areas for their pre-draft interest like OL, TE, and LB. Ironically each of those positions were taken. 5 of the 12 picks were those positions, and all in the first 5 rounds.
7 of 12 pick matched, met, or exceed the athletic thresholds found by Arif Hasan. They are Olabisi Johnson, Kris Boyd, Garrett Bradbury, Dru Samia, Dillon Mitchell, Cameron Smith and Oli Udoh.
Alexander Mattison and Irv Smith do not match or completely match the athletic thresholds.
Individuals such as Austin Cutting, Marcus Epps, and Armon Watts do not qualify. So one could say 7 of 9 matched, however, 1 of the 3 that did not match the thresholds were the day 2 picks, and the LB Cameron Smith is a toss up because the thresholds for the Vikings selections have been far and few between.
Up next, for those that always wonder about the Top 30 Visits. Anything that has a (PRI) next to their names came to the Vikings for a Private Visit, aka a Top 30 Visit.
- OL Calvin Anderson (PRI)
- OL Nate Davis OL (COM, PRI)
- OL Cody Ford, OT/G, Oklahoma (COM, PRI)
- OL Greg Little, OT, Ole Miss (COM, PRI)
- OL Kaleb McGary (PRO, PRI)
- OL Andre Dillard (PRI)
- OL Tytus Howard (PRO, PRI)
- DB Amani Hooker (PRI)
- DB Isiah Johnson (PRI)
- DB Derek Thomas (PRI)
- LB Otaro Alaka (PRI)
- LB Luke Gifford (PRI)
- LB Ryan Connelly (PRO, PRI)
- LB Terrill Hanks (PRO, PRI)
- LB Andrew Van Ginkel (PRO, PRI)
- K John Baron (PRI)
- DL Jamell Garcia-Williams (PRI)
- DL Jeffery Simmons (PRI)
- DL LJ Collier (PRI)
- QB Nick Fitzgerald (PRI)
- WR Jalen Hurd (PRI)
- WR Jeff Smith (PRI)
- TE Josh Oliver (PRI)
- TE Noah Fant, TE, Iowa (COM, PRI)
- TE Andrew Beck, FB/TE, Texas (EW, PRI)
- TE Jace Sternberger (PRI)
- TE Donald Parham (PRI)
- RB Devine Ozigbo, RB, Nebraska (EW, PRI, PRO)
The Vikings, reporters, beat guys or anyone else that I could see/find mentioned any interest in any of the individuals the Vikings actually drafted except Garrett Bradbury, the first prospect selected by the Vikings at pick 18. With that being said, the players could have and probably did meet with the Vikings because of this tweet from Myles Gorham (https://twitter.com/MylesGorham85):
“One thing I noticed during the #Vikings draft this year was what seemed to be a focus for some early contributors in drafting guys who played in the Senior Bowl or East-West Shrine game.
East-West Shrine Game
- Udoh (played in both)”
Athletic thresholds, scheme, coach meetings, Senior Bowl/ShrineGame all seem to matter the most for this draft.
The final item to address are the numbers. I used two different consensus big boards for final rankings of how the Vikings did for their ranking vs the selection. I used Arif Hasan’s consensus big board that uses a total of 60 forecasters, evaluators, and data.
Forecasters – who have access to NFL personnel departments and information on character, off-field concerns and injuries.
Evaluators – who rely more on film analysis and advanced statistics to evaluate draft prospects.
Data – will have production, age and athleticism scores.
NFLbigboard.com utilizes many big boards/rankings, however it demonstrates the high/low/average of the ranking. It’s a great tool to use over the course of the year and watching the prospects go up and down.
The numbers are probably doubly counted, but I went through, and averaged all the categories (8) for a common consensus big board ranking and compared that number to the selection. I looked at the difference of the positive/negative relationship for each one to determine the “reach” vs “steal” vs “fair value”.
- Irv Smith – Most fair value (8 pick difference, ranked higher)
- Garrett Bradbury – Fair Value (11 pick difference, player ranked lower)
- Oli Udoh – Fair Value (14 pick difference, player ranked higher)
- Dru Samia – Fair Value (19 pick difference, player ranked lower)
- Cameron Smith – Small reach (40 pick difference, player ranked lower)
- Olabisi Johnson – Medium steal (50 pick difference, player ranked higher)
- Kris Boyd – Medium steal (53 pick difference, player ranked higher)
- Dillon Mitchell – High steal (61 pick difference, player ranked higher)
- Armon Watts – High reach (72 pick difference, player ranked lower)
- Alex Mattison – High reach and the biggest difference (134 pick difference, player ranked lower)
- Marcus Epps – Unavailable to rank
- Austin Cutting – Unavailable to rank.
At this time I have nothing else to add! Thank for taking the time to read my first article,