The Minnesota Vikings came out of the first round of the 2013 NFL Draft with three players, and according to 1500ESPN's Tom Pelissero, the team seems to be excited about the direction they could take the organization. The Vikings came out of Thursday night with Florida defensive tackle Sharrif Floyd, Florida State cornerback Xavier Rhodes, and Tennessee wide receiver Cordarrelle Patterson, all of whom could step in and start as rookies.
"I don't know that it could have worked out any better," general manager Rick Spielman said, "for the caliber of players we got with all three of those kids coming into our program."
Minnesota originally had the 23rd and 25th pick in the first round, with the second of those coming from the Seattle Seahawks in return for wide receiver Percy Harvin. They ended up with the 29th pick after trading their second, third, fourth, and seventh round picks to the Patriots. That would seem to be a steep price to pay to move back into the first round, but people will forget about the trade if the player selected is worth it.
The Vikings took Floyd with the 23rd pick, which is astounding considering many thought Floyd could go off the board as early as the third pick. Besides representing a great value, Floyd looks like he's the heir apparent to longtime stalwart Kevin Williams. In 13 games for the Florida Gators in 2012, Floyd had 46 tackles, 13 tackles for a loss, and three sacks.
Two picks later, the Vikings took Rhodes, who should be able to step into a starting role right away following the departure of longtime cornerback Antoine Winfield. Rhodes had 39 tackles and three interceptions for Florida State in 2012, and also broke up seven passes.
It was entirely possible that both Floyd and Rhodes would be gone before Minnesota got to pick, so Spielman said the team was extremely happy they were both there:
"To sit there and get two quality players like that," Spielman said, "I can't tell you how excited Coach (Leslie) Frazier and Coach (Alan) Williams are right now along with our scouting staff."
It was after this that Minnesota pulled the trigger on the trade with New England for the 29th pick, as they didn't want to take their chances that Patterson would get selected before their pick in the second round. Patterson is raw in terms of technique, but is an electric talent who could potentially make people forget about Percy Harvin. That type of player doesn't come along often, so the Vikings did what they had to to make sure they got him.
Spielman added, "We felt besides (Tavon) Austin, he was the most explosive playmaker with the ball in his hand."
Patterson played for one year at Tennessee, catching 46 passes for 778 yards and five touchdowns, and also rushing the ball 25 times for 308 yards and three touchdowns.