EDEN PRAIRIE, Minn. The Minnesota Vikings' staff knew coaching the North team in the Senior Bowl would provide it with advantages heading into the draft evaluation period and offer it unique insight into many of the players on hand.
Every team has representatives at the Senior Bowl and conducts interviews, but Minnesota got a closer look at players on the North team, coaching them on a daily basis, working with them in meeting rooms and, of course, doing their own interviews.
The Vikings liked what they saw in Notre Dame safety Harrison Smith. In fact, they liked Smith so much, they stopped talking to him.
"We feel like we knew enough about him," Minnesota coach Leslie Frazier said. "Of course, you don't want to tip your hand on certain guys. It worked out perfectly in his case because we knew that there were some other teams later in that first round for sure or early in the second round that had their eyes on him."
Seeing the first round unfold and knowing other teams might h...