The Vikings have a great defense, possibly the best in the NFL. How did they do it? Why can’t Ted do that?
Many fans like to point at some other team’s success in a vacuum and say “Well look, they did it – my GM must be stupid. Fire him!”
Well, let’s look deeper and ask how the Vikings did it. First and foremost, they used high draft picks on defense. Half of their starters were first round picks.
Hmm… the Packers used first round picks on Ha-Ha Clinton-Dix, Damarious Randall, Clay Matthews, Kenny Clark, and basically a first round pick in Kevin King.
But the Vikings have first round picks on half of their defense, too. Let’s take a look at them.
- Harrison Smith – 2012 #29: The Packers took Nick Perry one slot earlier. Given the state of the linebackers and their safeties, I would say this was kind of the greater need. If you think safety is a more premium position than a strong edge-setter that can get still get a lot of sacks with his bull rush, you should probably stop reading now.
- Xavier Rhodes – 2013 #25: Chosen before the Packers first pick
- Anthony Barr – 2014 #9: Chosen before the Packers first pick
- Trae Waynes – 2015 #11: Chosen before the Packers first pick
- Terrance Newman – 2003 #5: Chosen before the Packers first pick (Newman actually came to Minnesota as a free agent, but that was when he was 37 – who knew the dude would still be kicking? All the #FireTed guys, I’m sure).
Huh, it almost looks like Ted didn’t draft the Vikings defense because they were all off the board before the Packers had a chance to take them.
For more on the topic, please see Why The Packers Don’t Have a Better Pass Rush.