The Minnesota Vikings entered Day 2 as the toast of the 2013 NFL Draft after having snagged three players that fell further than many expected in defensive lineman Sharrif Floyd, cornerback Xavier Rhodes and receiver Cordarrelle Patterson. What makes this haul all the more impressive was that each selection filled dire needs at three different positions.
When the smoke had cleared on Round 1, the Vikings were left waiting two-and-a-half rounds to select again thanks to the cost of trading up to No. 29 for Patterson. I applaud this move given Patterson’s raw speed and receiving skills combined with the fact that Minnesota dealt Percy Harvin this offseason and didn’t sign anyone who has proven starting caliber.
“You have two explosive players on defense, and now after Tavon Austin you have the most explosive offensive player in the draft,” NFL Network analyst Mike Mayock said following the Patterson pick. “I’ll tell you right now, Leslie Frazier is going to be a great figure to him.”
After filling three huge needs the Vikes addressed another weak spot in Round 4 in Gerald Hodges out of Penn State. Hopefully he can at the very least work into a suspect linebacker rotation at weakside.
What keeps this draft from finishing as an A for me is the later work, with general manager Rick Spielman going punter/kickoff specialist in Round 5. I don’t totally get that. Rounds 6 through 7 added depth on the offensive line and defensive front seven but didn’t provide anything to get ecstatic about. I also would’ve liked to see them grab a quarterback in the middle rounds to give competition to Christian Ponder and Matt Cassel, because the two were absolutely awful last year.
Picks: Floyd (1-23), Rhodes (1-25), Patterson (1-29), Hodges (4-23), Jeff Locke (5-22), Jeff Baca (6-28), Michael Mauti (7-7), Travis Bond (7-8), Everett Dawkins (7-23)