For me though there is one thing Spielman did this year that is hard to just shrug off:
Going into the draft, the Vikings had made all the significant moves they were going to make to shore up their offensive line.
They had already picked up Alex Boone and Andre Smith. They had already settled on Matt Kalil as the starting left tackle. They probably already knew that they wouldn't be holding on to John Sullivan. They had already settled on Brandon Fusco as their right guard.
And of course they had already replaced Jeff Davidson with Tony Sparano.
They had already addressed their issues on the offensive line. As far as fans were concerned. And apparently, as far as Rick Spielman was concerned.
So when the draft came along, Spielman was convinced that the Vikings DIDN'T need to spend a high pick on an offensive lineman.
Spielman believed the team already had enough depth on the line. How convinced was Spielman of this "fact?"
He went receiver/cornerback in the first two rounds then spent a fourth-rounder on a lineman everyone believed was a project.
Think about that though: Spielman was SO SURE the line was sufficiently shored-up, he felt comfortable using a pick on a guy he KNEW would not be able to contribute this year.
Not only did fans buy into the idea that the Vikings' O-line was fixed, Spielman did too.
He bought into it so thoroughly that he didn't cover himself by picking up extra insurance in the draft.
At the very least, Spielman could have made some trades and gotten back into the third and taken a lineman who was closer to being ready than Willie Beavers.
It bugs me that Spielman didn't at least see the need for more insurance. He actually thought the Vikings had made enough moves.
It's true that Spielman could not have anticipated the rash of injuries that hit the offensive line. But you don't pick up insurance because you KNOW things are going to go wrong.
It's called insurance for a reason.
The Vikings had a chance to beef up their offensive line depth in the draft and didn't do it. They figured they had enough.
They didn't have enough.
I should hope that next year Spielman will finally realize he needs to spend some of his precious draft picks on linemen. And not sixth rounders either.
No more waiting for the fourth and taking a guy who is one-to-two years away from even being viable as a backup.
Spielman fucked up, pure and simple.