The Minnesota Vikings made out like gang busters Thursday night during the first round of the NFL draft. They stayed pat with their first two draft picks at 23 and 25, walking away with players who were expected to go much higher than that slot in DT Sharrif Floyd and CB Xavier Rhodes, respectively, then traded back into the first round at 29 to draft WR Cordarrelle Patterson. This essentially addressed three of the four biggest needs in the first round of the draft, with only a potential future LB left untouched by draft pick. BUT, the Vikings actually diverted disaster deftly by having three first round picks and NOT drafting Manti Te'o, which really almost translates into another future draft pick since you won't have to replace him anytime soon. When the dust settled, unless they trade back up into the 2nd or 3rd round, the Vikings won't pick again until Saturday morning in the 4th round.
TL;DR? BONERS FOR EVERYONE! Now some other random notes about the draft:
It's been a busy couple of days for the Vikings, and we'll be looking to recap a lot of it over the coming weeks. From Fat Pat's retirement, to a full blown review of the new Vikings uniforms, to in depth dick jokes and nickname creation for each draft pick, there's lots to cover. And frankly, I'm a bit hung over this morning from the draft (And the new Surly "Overrated" beer) so I don't feel like tackling that all right now. But there's still lots of time to chat about all that transpired, so here are my talking points from the draft.
I'll also be giving initial draft grades on my personalized scale of 1 -5 boners, with 5 boners obviously being fantastic, because why wouldn't it be?
Let's hear your reaction in the comments:
Vikings Uniform Reveal
Before the draft, the Vikings did their "official" reveal of their uniforms. I was pretty ecstatic about them when they had images released early on Wednesday, but upon closer inspection I went from midnight to six. The serifs on the numbers, the weird thick stripe on the back of the shoulder stripes ... What the hell, man?! Designers are trying too hard to incorporate regional and thematic influences into jersey designs when they should be making a simple UNIFORM, not an art project. These are still obviously way better than the last uniforms, but they're also beginning to feel like a wasted opportunity instead of the perfect design.
I'm pretty sure he has two R's in his name, but that's going to screw with me for his entire career. Obviously, great pick at 23. This is universally agreed upon. Likely means Kevin Williams is indeed gone after this year, so prepare your farewell speech. Floyd looks huge though, bigger (thicker?) than Kevin, and more like Pat. I like that kind of fatty in the middle of our defense, so I'm excited.
Early grade: 5 Boners
What more could you ask for? A top 5 talent nabbed at a position of need at 23? Pretty much a no brainer.
Early word is that Rhodes' nickname is "Professor X" which is probably the coolest thing ever. Likely will have to make a t-shirt out of that. This was another awesome pick for the Vikings that addressed both value and need. Rhodes was seen as the second best CB in the draft, and the Vikings were able to sit back and let him fall to them at 25. His size and aggressiveness will make up nicely for the loss of Winfield, even when no one can obviously replace Winfield. Not a super sexy pick, but probably the one that will have the most immediate impact and be best for the team long term. A good RELATIONSHIP pick.
Early grade: 4 Boners
Nice value pick at a position of need. Again, not the sexiest and I wonder if LB shouldn't have been addressed, but Rhodes will likely be very solid for the team.
This pick needs to be looked at in two different lights. First, the player himself is a nice talent. A poor man's Percy Harvin, they say (which I think is dumb), but also probably a better actual "receiver" prospect than Percy ever was. Patterson will some day be able to play an outside receiver slot with his better size, so that's nice. In the meantime, he can do a lot of Percy-like things such as returning kicks, bubble screens, line up in the backfield, smoke weed if he wants, I don't know.
The other part of the pick is the value of it based on the trade. Initially, I thought the Patriots absolutely fleeced us. The Vikings gave up a 2nd, 3rd, 4th and 7th round pick to move back into the first round. However, the Vikings still have another 4th round pick, 5th, 6th, and like two more 7ths. So I'd imagine they'll maybe move back into the lower 3rd, or gain an extra 4th if some nice guys are still available. In a draft so deep though, it's a little odd that you wouldn't give yourself some more middle-round wiggle room. But then again, you just got three first round picks that all address areas of extreme need, so what the hell are you complaining about.
Early Grade: 3 Boners and 1 Chub
Patterson is a nice receiver who I didn't really think the Vikings would have a chance at grabbing, so I'm excited they did. But we'll have to see how the rest of the draft plays out before deciding if this was good value or not.
Not Drafting Manti Te'o
Worth another first round draft pick in and of itself! The Vikings still desperately need some LB depth from this draft, and I would have liked them to get a potential starter in their first four picks or so. That doesn't look like that will happen now, so I'm not sure what they're going to do. Sign Brian Urlacher? Just give me AIDs instead. Missing out on big name guys like Alec Ogletree (Picked 30th) and Arthur Brown (Not drafted yet, but probably will be) kind of stings, but we'll need to see what the final result of the MLB solution will be first before complaining too much.
Early Grade: 5 Morning Wood Boners ... For now
Again, NOT drafting Te'o made me almost as happy as when we DID draft Peterson. Maybe the Vikings still screw this up and trade back up to draft Te'o in the 3rd or something dumb, but if they get out of the draft without him, the morning wood boners stay. ALL OF THEM.
Overall, it was a good night. We'll be looking at how the rest of the draft falls now for other teams leading up to the Vikings next picks. We'll also get another open chat thread for Day 2 of the draft up tonight, around six o'clock, so look for that then.
In the meantime, tell us what you thought of the draft and what you're looking for with the remaining Vikings picks.
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Looks pretty good on paper... got some great value. So I can't complain there. Would have loved Ogletree, but there's NO TE'O!!!! Minor miracle.
1. Sharrif Floyd - Love this pick, and I'm surprised we didn't screw it up. Personally, I was a bit higher on Sheldon Richardson from Missouri, and I am a bit nervous to know why Floyd slid this far... but I read somewhere that there were no character issues and I don't think there was an injury concern, so maybe it's just good luck.
As I tweeted you last night, my nickname suggestion is "The Terrorist," because it's offensive and hopefully what he'll be doing to opposing centers, guards, RBs, and QBs for years to come.
2. Xavier Rhodes - also really love this pick. I think we may have needed an ILB more, and Ogletree would have maybe been my pick, but he had serious character issues, but I'm also a firm believer in picking the best player available in the draft (or failing that, the best player available in a position of need). Rhodes was the No. 1 CB on many draft "experts" boards, and was almost never lower than the No. 2 CB. Pair him with Cook (who really is turning into a nice CB) and if Robinson continues to develop as the Nickle, and we might actually have a pretty strong DB corps (with a minor hole in the form of Mistral Raymond).
I don't think you can find a better nickname than "Professor X"
3. Codarrelle Patterson - I'm very torn on this pick. On the one hand, he had been considered the No. 1 receiver at one point during the pre-draft process. Since then, he has slid a bit (although he was the second WR chosen). The dude seems to clearly have some awesome raw talent.
BUT, his work ethic concerns me (although I hope Greg Jennings and Leslie Frazier whip him into shape). And I've also read a lot that he doesn't run very good routes right now (again, hopefully Jennings can whip him into shape). Ponder needs all the help he can get, and a receiver who routinely isn't where he needs to be scares me a bit.
All in all, I like the balls of making the pick, and honestly the price makes sense (we were asking the Patriots to essentially drop their No. 1 pick back an entire round, so we had to compensate them for that). If the kid actually has the work ethic to improve, he's going to be good, and maybe even great.
Nickname suggestion: um... I got nothing. How about "Extension Cord" (because he can extend the defense?)
As I've said on your blog before, I continue to be impressed by Speilman. He may not be Ozzie Newsome, but he is doing a damn good job.
@Lakeville Mikey I was honestly afraid of Spielman making picks on his own, because the last time he had that opportunity in Miami he totally FUBAR'd it. But ... He certainly appears to have turned it around since then.