Is there a Vikings focus on certain schools?

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Mothman
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Is there a Vikings focus on certain schools?

Post by Mothman » Tue Apr 16, 2013 12:22 pm

This may be a big reach but...

We've discussed Spielman's apparent fondness for players from Notre Dame so I thought I'd mention that last year, the Vikes not only drafted 2 players from Notre Dame but 2 players from USC (Kalil and Ellison) and 2 from Arkansas (Wright and Childs). The Vikes drafted DeMarcus Love from Arkansas in 2011 and Everson Griffen from USC in 2010. Over the past 3 years they've drafted 3 players from each of those 3 schools. That may not mean much (heck, it may not mean anything) but as I over-analyze the draft, I can't help wondering if Manti Te'o and Robert Woods might be headed to Minnesota. :)

Could they be eyeing another Arkansas Wr (Cobi Hamilton) in the mid-rounds?

Any thoughts on this?

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Re: Is there a Vikings focus on certain schools?

Post by dead_poet » Tue Apr 16, 2013 12:34 pm

I'd be curious to know the organization's scouting practices. Without knowing that, it's hard to say. I really can't imagine Spielman picking more ND players because he's a fan of the program (for example). What schools do they regularly attend? What is their travel budget (does that affect who they're able to scout in person?)? Where are their scouts located (Minneapolis or across the country)?

I'd also need to know if a study has been done that proves that one school is better at "producing" (or recruiting) NFL players (or players at certain positions, as some are thought to do). If so, it makes sense to send scouts to those particular schools to pay more attention to these prospects.

Do other teams have similar school affinities? Meaning, you have 53 guys on your roster; chances are there are several from the same school and the Vikings aren't unique in this regard.

Absent this information, I'd have a hard time speculating. I think it's probably more coincidence than anything else. I mean, if I was Rick every school would be equal and I'd evaluate players based first on their performance/character, and then the system they were playing in and the level of competition. Weighting a particular school (particularly Division 1) higher than another seems a tad illogical (outside of those that are traditionally awful, I suppose). I'm just playing out the question to Rick in my head: "Do you like/favor USC, Notre Dame and Arkansas over other schools?" I just see him smiling and laughing at the question. Of course "Wiley Rick" might be doing that because he doesn't want to give away his secrets: that those three schools are special. If he drafts players from there his kids go there for free. College ain't cheap. 8)

I certainly wouldn't mind Te'o/Woods. They both have potential to be great.
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Re: Is there a Vikings focus on certain schools?

Post by PacificNorseWest » Tue Apr 16, 2013 12:46 pm

I wouldn't be surprised if it has anything to do with the style of play. USC and Arkansas running pro-style offenses that when you translate that to the NFL, it lessens the learning curve and you'll already know that the players will be capable of fitting into an NFL system.

For Notre Dame, it's no secret that they usually produce smart players who understand the game. Solid pros all around and the type of players that coaches love having on their team.
Last edited by PacificNorseWest on Tue Apr 16, 2013 12:48 pm, edited 2 times in total.

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Re: Is there a Vikings focus on certain schools?

Post by Mothman » Tue Apr 16, 2013 12:47 pm

dead_poet wrote:I'd be curious to know the organization's scouting practices. Without knowing that, it's hard to say. I really can't imagine Spielman picking more ND players because he's a fan of the program (for example). What schools do they regularly attend? What is their travel budget (does that affect who they're able to scout in person?)? Where are their scouts located (Minneapolis or across the country)?
I have similar questions and it wouldn't surprise me if they had key scouts located in close proximity to these schools. Of course, they're high profile schools and it's possible that they've just had some players the Vikes really liked and everything came together over the last few years to make those players Vikings.
I'd also need to know if a study has been done that proves that one school is better at "producing" (or recruiting) NFL players (or players at certain positions, as some are thought to do). If so, it makes sense to send scouts to those particular schools to pay more attention to these prospects.
Excellent point!
Absent this information, I'd have a hard time speculating. I think it's probably more coincidence than anything else. I mean, if I was Rick every school would be equal and I'd evaluate players based first on their performance/character, and then the system they were playing in and the level of competition. Weighting a particular school (particularly Division 1) higher than another seems a tad illogical (outside of those that are traditionally awful, I suppose).
It does on the surface but then I wonder if perhaps teams have "pipelines" to certain schools. A good relationship with a coach might provide some inside knowledge and a level of trust that could lead an NFL team to favor players from certain programs simply because their sources of information and their confidence regarding the quality of coaching those players receive is higher.
I'm just playing out the question to Rick in my head: "Do you like/favor USC, Notre Dame and Arkansas over other schools?" I just see him smiling and laughing at the question. Of course "Wiley Rick" might be doing that because he doesn't want to give away his secrets: that those three schools are special. If he drafts players from there his kids go there for free. College ain't cheap. 8)
LOL!
I certainly wouldn't mind Te'o/Woods. They both have potential to be great.
I wouldn't mind that combo at all.

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Re: Is there a Vikings focus on certain schools?

Post by Mothman » Tue Apr 16, 2013 12:48 pm

PacificNorseWest wrote:I wouldn't be surprised if it has anything to do with the style of play. USC and Arkansas running pro-style offenses that when you translate that to the NFL, it lessens the learning curve and you'll already know that the players will be capable of fitting in to the NFL way.
That's a great point too.
For Notre Dame, it's no secret that they usually produce smart players who understand the game. Solid pros all around.
Agreed. I suspect a lot of it has to do with a level of trust in certain programs.

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Re: Is there a Vikings focus on certain schools?

Post by HardcoreVikesFan » Tue Apr 16, 2013 1:00 pm

I don't know if there is a focus on certain schools per se. I just think that our scouting department has found players that not only fit the system, but have been good players for us. In turn, these players happen to come from a certain school.


Overall, I have just excepted that Te'o will be a VIking. I would love Robert Woods, but I don't want us to take him over Deandre Hopkins. I wish we could draft both players...
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Re: Is there a Vikings focus on certain schools?

Post by mondry » Tue Apr 16, 2013 1:07 pm

I think there is something to it but it's also half coincidence if that makes sense. Looking at ND, Harrison Smith and Teo would be guys that almost "perfectly" fit our defense. With USC, Kalil would have fit for a lot of teams, so I don't really see anything there, but Ellison is kind of that blocking / team player tight end. At Arkansas, it's hard to say since we didn't get to see much of childs but Wright did well in limited playing time, does their offense sort of match what we do or Wright specifically?

There has been talk that the team really likes Robert Woods so I do think SOMETHING is there. The main thing for me is that it seems to be working so I'm not sure if it's a good or a bad thing heh. I just wish Hopkins was from arkansas, then I'd feel good about it! hahah

Point being, these schools seem to produce players that some what fit our schemes / mentality, and they're also "big" schools so they get a good amount of talented guys through their doors. It's still probably more coincidence than anything but I would bet we also put a lot of time in at these schools.

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Re: Is there a Vikings focus on certain schools?

Post by dead_poet » Tue Apr 16, 2013 1:34 pm

Someone asked a similar question to Pelissero (essentially, "Is there something to this idea that Spielman loves ND players?") Here's his response:
I'd agree to an extent. They've had some good players there. Who wouldn't want guys like Rudolph and Smith? At the same time, I think that school attracts a certain type of player and the profiles matches what Spielman wants.
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Re: Is there a Vikings focus on certain schools?

Post by CaptainKirov » Tue Apr 16, 2013 1:47 pm

Mothman wrote:This may be a big reach but...

We've discussed Spielman's apparent fondness for players from Notre Dame so I thought I'd mention that last year, the Vikes not only drafted 2 players from Notre Dame but 2 players from USC (Kalil and Ellison) and 2 from Arkansas (Wright and Childs). The Vikes drafted DeMarcus Love from Arkansas in 2011 and Everson Griffen from USC in 2010. Over the past 3 years they've drafted 3 players from each of those 3 schools. That may not mean much (heck, it may not mean anything) but as I over-analyze the draft, I can't help wondering if Manti Te'o and Robert Woods might be headed to Minnesota. :)

Could they be eyeing another Arkansas Wr (Cobi Hamilton) in the mid-rounds?

Any thoughts on this?

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Re: Is there a Vikings focus on certain schools?

Post by S197 » Sun Apr 21, 2013 10:46 pm

The fact that we're a little heavy on ND, Arkansas, and USC players isn't of much concern to me. If we start drafting a bunch of guys from Slippery Rock, I might change my mind.

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