Mocking the Draft wants to introduce you to an new article series taking a closer look at each team's draft workings. The WarRoom articles will give you a glimpse at the recent draft history and the decision-making structure of each NFL team. We will also include our thoughts about the structure and draft history.
Offensive Scheme: The Vikings are going through a slight over haul with the offensive coaching staff this off-season, so there is still some mystery as to what the offense will look like when finally on the field. New OC Bill Musgrave has had stints as a quarterback coach/coordinator for several NFL teams (namely the Panthers, Jaguars, Redskins and Falcons) while also spending two years at the University of Virginia coaching up current Texans QB Matt Schaub. Speculation is that the offense will look very much like last years Falcon's offense with a few twists. One being that there will be more 2 TE sets and likely a heavier emphasis on the run game with a rookie QB under center. When throwing, look for lots of play-action with underneath crosses and deep posts.
Defensive Scheme: While the offensive staff has plenty of turnover, the defense made a more lateral move after former defensive coordinator Leslie Frazier was named head coach. New DC Fred Pagac had been coaching the linebackers before being named the interim defensive coordinator after Childress's departure. This is his first NFL coordinators job after being a LB coach for Oakland and Kansas City before Minnesota. He was defensive coordinator at Ohio State before jumping to the NFL. Pagac is likely to continue employing the Tampa-2 style defense that emphasizes zone disciplines in the secondary while getting pressure with the defensive line.
Thoughts: The Vikings have done a very good job with last four drafts that Spielman has been a part of. His first draft was in 2007 (he was hired by the Vikings on May 30th 2006, after the 2006 draft) and of the 26 picks in that time, 17 are still on the roster (65%) with significant contributions from each of them. Even late round picks like 5th rounder LB Jasper Brinkley, 6th Rounders QB Joe Webb and C John Sullivan, and 7th rounder S Jamarcus Sanford are as big a part of the team as higher picks (1st rounder WR Percy Harvin, 2nd Rounders WR Sidney Rice and OT Phil Loadholt). While he was already in the league, the Vikings traded a 1st and two 3rds for DE Jared Allen, essentially making him a huge part of their draft. He has finished in the top ten for sacks each year with the Vikings. The 2011 Draft was the first with Frazier and Spielman and its success will ride mostly on just how well new QB Christian Ponder performers. If Spielman has had one criticism through his career, it is that he has yet to draft a All-Pro QB, but based on his time in Minnesota there is hope that Ponder can break that track record.
Five Year Record: 42 - 38
Coach: Leslie Frazier
GM: Rick Spielman
Draft History: Click Here to see a complete draft history
Best Pick: RB Adrian Peterson - Arguably the best running back in the NFL