Vikings Bolster Defense, Add Playmakers In the 2013


Cordarrelle Patterson and Commissioner Roger Goodell during the 2013 NFL
NFL Network analysts Rich Eisen and Mike Mayock thought that the Minnesota Vikings were done for the night after selecting two defensive players with the 23rd and 25th picks in the 2013 draft. However, the Vikings still had one more move to make. GM Rick Spielman traded four draft picks in the later rounds to the New England Patriots in order to select Tennessee wide Receiver Cordarrelle Patterson with the 29th pick. The Patterson pick completed a trifecta of draft choices that should keep the Vikings in playoff contention next year.
The Vikings used their first pick (No. 23) in the 2013 draft to select Sharrif Floyd, a defensive tackle from the University of Florida. Floyd was originally believed to be the target of the Oakland Raiders earlier in the draft, but potential character issues caused Floyd to fall towards the end of the first round. The Vikings will now be able to team Floyd up with Kevin Williams to create a run-stuffing duo that they have been missing since Pat Williams left the team in 2010.
Spielman used the 25th pick of the first round to further bolster the Vikings’ defense by selecting Xavier Rhodes, a cornerback from Florida State University. The Vikings needed another cornerback after Antoine Winfield left via free agency for Seattle. Rhodes will provide a more physical presence that will match well with Brandon Marshall of the Chicago Bears and Calvin Johnson of the Detroit Lions.
The third draft choice, Patterson, maybe a rough player when it comes to running routes, but he can provide an instant impact that quarterback Christian Ponder will love. Patterson has the ability to catch a short pass and turn it into a long touchdown, and he has reliable hands so he can make tough catches when defenders are fighting for the ball. The most important area that Patterson will make an impact on is special teams. When the Vikings traded Percy Harvin to the Seattle Seahawks, they lost a player that could return any kickoff for a touchdown. Now, the Vikings will be able to use Patterson as a return man in order to gain better field position.
Using three draft picks in the first round may have taken away any draft picks that the Vikings have until the fourth round on Saturday, but it also left the team in a much better place than before. Spielman and his head coach, Leslie Frazier, now have three players that can start from day one and provide a competitive edge in the always difficult NFC North. Spielman and Frazier can now spend the rest of the draft finding depth for key positions instead of worrying about the players that are not available anymore.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *