ESPN’s Courtney Cronin joined Matthew Coller on his latest podcast to discuss the Minnesota Vikings’ decision not to make a major direction change this offseason. Cronin covered the Vikings from 2017 to 2021 before moving to the Chicago Bears beat in the offseason.
She still has contacts within the Vikings organization, though, including two scouts. At the NFL Combine, they told her that Rick Spielman went rogue and drafted Wyatt Davis in the third round last year against the advice of his scouting department.
God I remember this, right as I was leaving the beat, and I can’t remember what had happened, but (fans) were yelling at me about the offensive line, for some reason, and being like, ‘You said it was fixed in May of last year after they got Wyatt Davis and Christian Darrisaw, and that it wasn’t going to be a problem.’
I said, ‘No. At that time I said that it was not going to be a main storyline of training camp because they drafted Wyatt Davis to be the starting right guard. They drafted Christian Darrisaw to take over for Riley Reiff at left tackle.’
You know what I heard at the combine? That that was a Rick Spielman special, where here didn’t listen to anyone else in the room on Wyatt Davis. That he went after his guy. Two scouts I talked to in the Minnesota Vikings organization, said that this guy wasn’t even a backup grade for them. Okay? That is what the reality of that situation was.
The Vikings traded down and took Darrisaw 23rd overall. He debuted in Week 5 and held his own throughout the season. However, Davis did not play any offensive snaps last year. He ended up being a baffling pick for a team that was in win-now mode last year.
Everyone may be sick of hearing Kwesi Adofo-Mensah and Kevin O’Connell talk about collaboration, but this is why they’re pushing that theme. Spielman went against the advice of his scouts, and it cost him dearly.