The Vikings extended Mike Zimmer before the start of training camp and now it sounds as if they are keeping the coach and general manager pairing together. The team is reportedly finalizing a multi-year contract with Rick Spielman.
Spielman has been the Vikings GM since 2012 and now gets the chance to continue to see the young talent he’s drafted grow over the next few years. In the 2020 NFL Draft Spielman helped the Vikings set a record selecting 15 total players. Looking ahead to 2021, the Vikings are projected to have 12 draft picks, giving the team a total of 27 draft picks in a two-year span.
It’s nearly impossible to hit on the majority of a team's draft picks, but Spielman has done a great job over the years at moving around to secure more picks. The first round hasn’t been a strong suit for the Vikings since Spielman took over, but they have done a fantastic job at finding talented players throughout every round of the draft.
The 2015 draft is looked at as a highlight year for Spielman, and here is a list of players that were taken after the first round since that draft.
Eric Kendricks - second round
Danielle Hunter - third round
Stefon Diggs - fifth round
Mackensie Alexander - second round
Stephen Weatherly - seventh round
Jayron Kearse - seventh round
Dalvin Cook - second round
Pat Elflien - third round
Jaleel Johnson - fourth round
Ifeadi Odenigbo - seventh round
Irv Smith Jr. - second round
Alexander Mattison - third round
Dru Samia - fourth round
Armon Watts - sixth round
Kris Boyd - seventh round
Bisi Johnson - seventh round
Austin Cutting - seventh round
This is without mentioning some of the undrafted free agents they have had throughout this time, which includes Adam Thielen and Anthony Harris.
The 2020 draft is still unknown, and it could stay that way throughout the 2020 season with all of the uncertainty still surrounding the season. However, given the Vikings recent track record of turning younger players into regular starters, the team is set up for a bright future.
The first round hasn’t been as good for the Vikings since 2012, but the team has still landed some great players within the first 32 picks. Anthony Barr, Xavier Rhodes and Harrison Smith were all taken in the first round under Spielman, three players that have solidified the defense since they arrived in Minnesota
Analysts have labeled the 2020 draft a success already for the Vikings, given the amount of ammunition Spielman selected to help rebuild a team that lost a lot this offseason. It should also be noted that the Vikings got who they wanted in the first round this year, landing two talented players in Justin Jefferson and Jeff Gladney.
It really wasn’t much of a question whether or not Spielman was going to get extended. After Zimmer’s extension was announced, he mentioned in his press conference that he’d like the GM to remain the same as well.
Heading into 2020, it looks as if the Vikings head coach is going to get his wish.