Most Minnesota Vikings‘ fans expected the team to make a splash on day one of the NFL Draft, but I don’t think anyone saw it going down the way it did. Starting with the Vikings’ first selection at No. 23, the great picks just started rolling in. Sharrif Floyd, who was a top-5 pick in many mocks, fell all the way to the purple and gold. The value for Floyd at 23, is off the charts.
Then the drama continued two picks later, when the Vikings got defensive again, and picked cornerback Xavier Rhodes. Widely considered the second best CB in the draft, Rhodes is a big defensive back with wheels, and someone who should immediately help in the Minnesota secondary. They had to replace Antoine Winfield, and Spielman got the job done by taking Rhodes.
Just when fans were starting to grumble about the Vikings not taking a receiver, the news broke that they were trying to move up to the 29th spot. Four dealt picks later, Minnesota had it’s third selection in the first round. They had to hit a home run with this pick, or all the wheeling and dealing would be for not. The tension built as the analysts speculated that Manti Te’o would be the pick, but I was holding out hope for Cordarrelle Patterson. I just couldn’t wrap my brain around Minnesota not getting a wide out in round one.
Sure enough, his name was called, and the first round became an overwhelming success for Spielman and his team. It’s not even really a debate, the Minnesota Vikings are the big winners of day one. They selected three very solid players, without reaching at all. They got a steal with Floyd, and they filled big needs with Rhodes and Patterson. All three picks are big successes. I really don’t see how fans could complain about any of these players, and don’t even say that they gave up too much.
Minnesota has put three players on the roster that will make them better immediately, in 2013. As we sit here at the end of day one of the NFL Draft, no other team can say that.
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