AJ Explains 5 Reasons to Be Excited for the Draft w/o 1st Rounder…

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    Joe Johnson
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    It’s so weird out there right now. Seriously, the NFL Draft is one week from today and I have so little knowledge on this year’s draft class. I’ve heard rumblings that Myles Garrett will go first, after that I have no clue. I haven’t looked at a single mock draft, I haven’t addressed team needs incessantly like in year’s past, I feel like I don’t care much at all…and I know exactly why.

    It’s the same reason the “draft dobber” is down for many of us to varying degrees this year. Without a first round pick for the Minnesota Vikings, it’s almost as if the first round doesn’t really exist. And trying to predict, break down or plan for any round after that is almost insane since there’s some much that will happen between pick #1 and pick #48 that will impact the Vikings first selection. I’m not gonna lie, it’s kinda rough.

    But alas, I have come to our rescue with a list highlighting “FIVE Reasons We Should All Be Excited About the 2017 NFL Draft” even though our favorite team isn’t’ slated to factor in.

    So here we go…

    1. The GREEN ROOM Drama Is Hard To Beat…

    Each year we have our fair share of awkward moments that occur in the Green Room with players that are on hand for the draft. No one could have predicted on the morning of the draft that Aaron Rodgers was gonna sit in the Green Room all day and fall to pick #24. Or how about the timing and irony surrounding a leaked video featuring Laremy Tunsil, a possible first overall pick, wearing a gas mask bong! Mix those juicy storylines in with your daily dose of overly competitive players who know they’re losing tens of thousands of dollars every time their name isn’t called, it is one of the best kinds of true, unedited reality TV! Think about this too, this same drama even carries across the boundaries into other sports. Remember when Zach LaVine was drafted by the Timberwolves and the cameras caught him muttering “F$%# me” when his name was announced? The web exploded for hours trying to make sense of those two words and everybody jumped to the conclusion that he hated Minnesota. THERE’S ALWAYS SOMETHING that happens and in the glory that is today’s day and age, those are the things that EXPLODE on the internet and keep guys like me busy both for work and play laughing at dumb gifs and reading the behind the scenes accounts.

    2. There’s Always The Possibility That The Vikings WILL Pick in Round One…

    I think that this is the one that we’re all holding out hope for, the idea that the Vikings might still trade back up into the first round to snag somebody that *could* come in right away and have a big impact. They don’t call him “Slick Rick” Spielman just because, he’s earned that nickname over his time as General Manager of the Vikings. There was a two or three year stretch a few years back where the team needed to get aggressive and that’s just what they did. They pulled the wool over the eyes of the Cleveland Browns and moved back one spot in the draft still getting their guy in Matt Kalil plus bonus picks. Those bonus picks and others are what Spielman used to trade back up into the first round multiple times to draft Cordarrelle Patterson and Teddy Bridgewater. Now, say whatever you will about the players that they selected with those picks and the impact (or lack thereof) they’ll be having on this team going forward, the moral of this story is that the Vikings have a history of being aggressive. And get this, did you know that from the year 2000 to 2015 there was an average of 14 trades in the first round of the NFL draft? (including drafts from previous years, future years and movement in the present year). That’s nuts, and with an extra third round pick and an extra fourth round pick this year, the Vikings should have the ammunition to move around a bit if the right player falls to the right spot.

    3. The Current State Of The Team Should Force An Aggressive Approach

    I glossed over this briefly in point number two but think back to the state of the Vikings the years leading up to the drafts when Mr. Spielman was a little more aggressive than normal. They were disappointing seasons that showed some promise and left an opportunity for the team to be aggressive and get better quickly. So they went after three picks in the first round back in 2013 and another two first round selections in 2014. This team was supposed to be good last year, they started being good before the wheels fell off, but there are still pieces in place to build around. Here is an opportunity to do so. Get aggressive and *fingers crossed* pick the right guys.

    4. This Whole Mitch Leidner Situation Is Intriguing To Me, For Some Reason…

    I’m not sure why I’m still interested, but this whole ancillary situation surrounding former Minnesota Gopher quarterback Mitch Leidner is still a little interesting to me. Once thought to be a first round prospect, Leidner’s senior season and less than stellar combine performance now has him projected to land in the seventh round if he gets drafted at all. That’s nuts to me and I’m interested to see what kind of team reaches out to him and if they plan to try his hand at QB or move him to a different position. This point really could be extended to read “following the selections of all Gophers players” as well. Guys like Jalen Myrick, Damarius Travis, Jonah Pirsig and Jack Lynn stand to be drafted and I always like to root for the local guys to do well.

    5. It Means That NFL “Action” Is Right Around The Corner…

    NFL Free agency feels like it was a long time ago, and actual gameplay even longer ago than that. The NFL Draft is the final preperatory process for the upcoming NFL season which means that mini camps, OTAs, Training Camp and then the preseason are right around the corner as well. That’s something that we can ALL be excited about. Football is back baby, and the NFL Draft is the official big kickoff party. The schedule will come out today, new players will bring new hope and all 32 teams will have the same shot out of the gates at vying for a Super Bowl trophy, which by the way is in Minnesota next year!

    Buckle up everybody, it’s going to be fun!

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