It was six weeks ago that Vikings Head Coach Mike Zimmer was ranked as the eighth-best head coach among his peers.
Now rankings for NFL general managers have come out, as Vikings General Manager Rick Spielman has found himself in the same spot.
Gregg Rosenthal of NFL.com recently published a list of his top decision makers across the league, and had Spielman slotted in the top quartile.
Spielman is a survivor. He survived a rocky ending with the Dolphins, then hung in as de facto GM in Minnesota for six years before getting the official title in 2012, with the Vikings making five playoff appearances along the way. The roster is overstuffed with home-grown talent and strategic free-agent scores like Linval Joseph and Riley Reiff. Spielman's first true coaching hire, Mike Zimmer, has provided the team with a clear direction over the past four seasons. Spielman created the salary-cap flexibility to sign Kirk Cousins after making the franchise attractive enough to lure the quarterback in. Most GMs would be waylaid after losing their franchise quarterback, but the way he responded to Teddy Bridgewater's career-altering knee injury in 2016 only highlighted Spielman's resourcefulness.
Spielman has helped the Vikings win four division titles and reach a pair of NFC title games during his tenure in Minnesota.
John Randle listed as best undrafted player in Vikings history
The 2018 NFL Draft kicks off one week from today, as teams across the league will look to add plenty of talent and skill to their rosters.
And while there will be 256 players picked in the draft, there will also be hundreds more who don’t hear their name called over the three-day span.
That doesn’t mean those undrafted players won’t find their way to the NFL, however, as history has shown plenty of times how players pave various paths to success.
ESPN recently took a look at the best undrafted players in each franchise’s history, and the Vikings selection was a Hall of Famer.
ESPN writer Courtney Cronin picked John Randle for the list, as the defensive tackle turned his small-town Texas dreams into a stellar NFL career.
*NFL teams thought Randle was too small at 6-foot-1 and 241 pounds. He went undrafted, then failed a tryout with Tampa Bay before signing with Minnesota in 1990, where he became one of the most storied defensive linemen in NFL history. In his second season, Randle had 58 tackles and 9.5 sacks. Four years in, he began a streak of six straight Pro Bowls (1993-98) before earning honors again in 2001 with Seattle. He finished his career with 137.5 sacks, tied for ninth all time, and earned his gold jacket after enshrinement in the Hall of Fame in 2010. *
Randle compiled double-digit sacks in nine of 10 seasons beginning in 1993, including a stretch of eight straight seasons when he had 10 or more quarterback takedowns. He was named to the NFL’s All-Decade team for the 1990s. Randle was inducted into the Vikings Ring of Honor in 2008 and was enshrined in the Pro Football Hall of Fame in 2010.