Spielman, Frazier talk about 'top 30' visits

Leslie Frazier (Andy King/AP)

Vikings coach Leslie Frazier and VP of player personnel Rick Spielman are hosting about two dozen draft prospects today and tomorrow in an effort to get some final questions answered, including character and medical issues.

Vikings coach Leslie Frazier has a full schedule Tuesday and Wednesday. He spent the late morning and early afternoon Tuesday with his good friend (and former boss) Tony Dungy during a luncheon at Winter Park for Athletes in Action that was sponsored by the Vikings and Target Corporation.

Dungy addressed the crowd about his ideas on leadership, mentoring and leaving a lasting impact. Some of those ideals could be put in place this afternoon and Wednesday morning by Frazier as the Vikings host about two dozen players for their annual predraft visit.

The team is allowed to have 30 incoming rookies to visit Winter Park, but because of scheduling conflicts a few of those could happen in the coming weeks. For now, the team is concentrating on putting those prospects in front of position coaches to get some final questions answered.

"It's an important part of the process as you're trying to evaluate and make the right decisions come draft day," Frazier said. "It gives us a chance to sit down with guys that we're thinking about drafting and get to know them a little bit. And for those we were not able to check medically or who were not able to attend the Combine, we get a chance to do some medical checks also. It's great for our coaches; it's great for all of us to be able to interact one-on-one."

The prospects will also be brought together for a dinner tonight to see how they interact with each other. With the fact that the Vikings are also looking for a quarterback of the future, they will be looking for leadership qualities in a few of the candidates – Ryan Mallett and Andy Dalton are expected to be among those visiting, according to various reports.

"Each and every guy that's here I'll sit down with him and just try and get a feel for how they would fit on our football team. That's important," Frazier said. "It's more than just talent. We try and tell kids that. But we have to determine whether or not it's a fit or not."

Frazier said the quarterbacks won't even be the most-represented position among the predraft visits. That's probably because Frazier, Spielman and the offensive coaching staff have made several trips to visit with some of the top quarterback prospects across the country already.

"The last part of this is where we're trying to get all these questions answered before going to our draft meetings," Spielman said. "There will be times where our coaches or one of the scouts in the office will go out before the draft and there may be one or two that filter in here over the next couple weeks.

"All the information is gathered or will be gathered by the end of this week that we need. Then we'll take that information and start processing all that as we go through our draft."

While the Vikings have already interviewed most of the prospects at least once already at the Senior Bowl or other college all-star games, the NFL Scouting Combine or pro days, Frazier said they talk to former teammates, coaches and others that the player interacts with to determine that prospect's character.

"We want to talk with people who have been in the huddle with him and also the coaches that coached him," he said. "But yeah, sometimes as a coach you can get a feel for some of the capabilities that guy has, as far as leading your football team."


Tim Yotter is the publisher of Viking Update. Follow Viking Update on Twitter and discuss this topic on our message boards. To become a subscriber to the Viking Update web site or magazine, click here.


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