TALE OF THE TAPE

Who Had The Better Top 2 Picks: Vikings Or Timberwolves?

In the new age of social media, the NFL and NBA drafts have an added entertainment value. For months after their seasons end, there’s speculation on which players will be taken where, and how the dominos will fall on draft night. The beauty of it all as that everyone has their opinion, but nobody really knows what will actually happen. In last Thursday’s NBA Draft, the Timberwolves selected Zach LaVine with the No. 13 pick and Glenn Robinson III with the lone second round pick that they kept. We won’t know for a while, most likely, if either of these players will have an impact on the organization. In the first round of the NFL Draft, the Vikings chose linebacker Anthony Barr out of UCLA, then traded back into the first round to get quarterback Teddy Bridgewater. Now that we know who the new faces are of these teams, let the speculation begin. Which team’s top two pics will be better — the Vikings or the Timberwolves?

Vikings
Timberwolves
(credit: Elsa/Getty Images)
(credit:  Mike Stobe/Getty Images)
(credit: Elsa/Getty Images)
(credit: Mike Stobe/Getty Images)
Salary
Winner Teddy Bridgewater signed a 4-year rookie deal with the Vikings for $6.85 million. Anthony Barr signed a 4-year deal worth a guaranteed $12.74 million along with a $7.59 million bonus.
We don't yet know the exact terms that Zach LaVine and Glenn Robinson III will agree to, but they will both be signing two-year contracts with a team option for a third year. The safe guess is that LaVine will make a little less than $2 million per year, while Robinson III will likely make less than $1 million per season.
Potential
Winner While it's not solidified that Anthony Barr will be a day one starter, he'll be on the field in his rookie season with the Vikings. Their defense struggled last year, and it's one of the reasons Barr was drafted with the team's top choice. It was expected that Bridgewater would spend a season as a backup to Matt Cassel at quarterback, but he's been impressive enough in early camps that he could win the starting job. In either case, these two athletes will be early contributors.
Being the top draft choice, LaVine has the best chance to be an immediate impact player. He was a point guard at UCLA and didn't start, but was one of the team's top players as a freshman. Robinson III is probably the better athlete and all-around player, but the former Michigan standout will have to prove himself in the NBA Summer League and training camp to earn a spot on the roster. Plenty of uncertainty still remains for both players as summer workouts approach.
Leadership
Winner Without question, the Vikings top two draft choices will be future leaders in the organization. After all, they were drafted in natural positions that require leadership. Barr will be asked to be a future head of the defense at linebacker. He'll need to know calls, schemes and anticipate plays. Bridgewater will have to know everything about his own offense and the tendencies of the defenses he'll face every week. The early talk out of workouts and minicamps is that both are stepping into roles well.
Since they just got drafted, it's a little difficult to project what kind of leaders LaVine and Robinson III could be for the Timberwolves. LaVine, at point guard, is a natural leader on the court. But he might not be asked to play that position in the NBA. Robinson III has never seemed to be much of a vocal leader on the court, moreso a leader by example through his hustle, athleticism and skill.
Tenure In Minnesota
Winner It certainly appears that Barr and Bridgewater are in Minnesota to stay, at least for four years as their contracts state. Barring something unforeseen, both should be in Vikings jerseys for several years. It helps their case if they both get off to a good start, but once they get more NFL experience they could be looked at as future centerpieces of the Vikings roster.
The futures for LaVine and Robinson III are far less certain with their rookie contracts, once being signed, lasting only two years. A lot can happen in that time. They might not make the roster, they could play professionally overseas or opt for the NBA Developmental League. Or the Timberwolves could get a stroke of luck go their way and have both contribute early and often.

The Winner Is

(credit: Elsa/Getty Images)
Winner Vikings
4 out of 4

While a clear-cut winner won't be determined for some time, it's obvious that by picking two positions of immediate need the Vikings have made getting athletes through the draft a priority. Now it's up to Barr and Bridgewater to solidify themselves with the Vikings organization and help a new coaching staff be successful right away. Both have good chance to play early in their rookie seasons, and it's too early to tell if either of the Timberwolves picks will see action on the Target Center floor this season.

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