Thursday, July 2, 2015

Monthly Archives: April 2013

In a Draft that seemed about as predictable as the Powerball numbers from this week’s drawing, there was little I felt comfortable declaring as a true prediction.  At the very least, most of my Draft-related predictions came with a transparent lack of conviction that should have been an obvious signal to readers that I was feeling unsure on about every level about how the event would play out.

I made sure to let you know that I felt absolutely no confidence in the final version of my mock draft.  It was for good reason, too.  I ended up matching only one prospect to the correct NFL team in the whole damn thing.  If the Colts hadn’t selected defensive end Bjoern Werner, I would have gotten a big old goose egg on the mock draft front.

Even though I had been predicting for a long time that the Vikings would select linebacker Manti Te’o if he was available, I went out of my way to chastise 1500 ESPN writer Patrick Reusse for making an absurd claim prior to the Draft.

“It is a 100 percent certainty that the Vikings will wind up with Te’o,” wrote Reusse in a column that has been long forgotten by most readers and for which he will never be held accountable for, not that he should be.

Outside of betting Brett ten thousand dollars, at one point, that Dee Milliner would not go to the Jaguars #2 overall (waiting for that check, Brett) I just wasn’t feeling real sure about anything regarding the Draft.  I was always astonished, given the nature of this year’s class, how many people were willing to use absolutes in discussing what was going to happen on Draft Weekend.

There was one thing, however, that should have surprised absolutely nobody.  I had been predicting it with conviction all offseason long and took every opportunity possible to bring it up in talking with Vikings fans.  I was even spouting off about it during all three days of our live Draft Chat this weekend.

I was 100% positively, unequivocally certain the Vikings would replace punter Chris Kluwe in this Draft.

We continue to formally introduce you to our newest Vikings with our in-depth series.  If you missed the one on Sharrif Floyd then click here to read all about our new defensive tackle.

Up next is someone we had identified as a possible Vikings target months ago.  Florida State cornerback Xavier Rhodes did indeed end up being the Vikings second selection in 2013.

XAVIER RHODES, CB, FLORIDA STATE

ATTRIBUTES

Height:  6′ 1″

Weight:  210 pounds

Arm Length:  33 3/4″

Hand Size:  9″

COMBINE RESULTS

Rhodes tested very well at the NFL’s Scouting Combine, but he did struggle in the positional skills, which is something you don’t see discussed in the media as much the forty times and bench press numbers.  Despite his big frame he ran the 11th fastest forty yard dash of all the defensive backs at the event.  Both his broad jump and vertical jump tied for the best at in Indy, while his bench press totals were adequately average.

Forty:  4.43 seconds

Bench:  14 reps

Vertical:  40.5″

Broad Jump:  132″

PRO DAY RESULTS

Rhodes did not partake in any timed drills at the Florida State Pro Day, but scouts came away still impressed with the speed and quickness they saw from him at both events.  Still, reviews from his Pro Day were in consensus regarding how the big corner can have trouble with changing direction quickly and how tight he can be in the hips.  A lot of reports preceding the draft indicated that this event confirmed his inability to succeed in zone coverage, which has to be at least a little concerning to Vikings fans.

While we wait for official word on whether or not Cris Carter’s son Duran rounds out our undrafted free agent class, I realized that I have yet to put all of our draft picks in one spot for you all.  Here is your 2013 Vikings Draft Class with a little tidbit about each one:

SHARRIF FLOYD, DT, FLORIDA – FIRST ROUND – PICK #23

A versatile player that will immediately make the Vikings more able to keep their defensive line rotation fresh for a full 60 minutes.  He is best suited for under tackle, and will probably succeed Kevin Williams next offseason, but he can also contribute at the defensive end spot on running downs and at nose tackle on passing downs if the coaches see fit.  Many view Floyd as the steal of the first round.

XAVIER RHODES, CB, FLORIDA STATE – FIRST ROUND – PICK #25

A press corner with great size and physicality, plus a nice vertical leap.  If Chris Cook can stay healthy, and out of trouble, then Rhodes could finally give the Vikings a formidable duo on the outside of their secondary.  If both are on the field at the same time, and Rhodes lives up to his expectations, then the Vikings are expected to be more aggressive when it comes to getting after the quarterback.

CORDARRELLE PATTERSON, WR, TENNESSEE – FIRST ROUND – PICK #29

After sending a boatload of picks to New England, the Vikings moved up to snag their third first round pick, the raw wide out from Tennessee.  Patterson is perhaps the most physically gifted wide out in this class, and my favorite thing about him is how well he does after the catch, but he is expected to need some coaching and time before realizing his full potential.  Expect him to play a role similar to what Percy Harvin played in the offense last year, as well as a possible return man, but he also has the size to be a more consistent presence on the outside and down the field.

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The Vikings, like every other NFL team, are now racing to fill out their rosters with undrafted free agents.  Here are the players we are hearing the Vikings have agreed to terms with:

  • Colin Anderson, TE, Furman
  • Brandan Bishop, FS, North Carolina State
  • Joe Bonadies, OL, Penn
  • Duran Carter, WR, Alabama
  • Nicolas Edwards, WR, Eastern Washington
  • Darius Eubanks, FS, Georgia Southern
  • Erik Highsmith, WR, North Carolina
  • Zach Line, RB/FB, SMU
  • Marquis Jackson, DE, Portland State
  • Anthony McCloud, DT, Florida State
  • Robbie Rouse, RB, Fresno State
  • Rayon Simmons, RB, Winona State
  • Rodney Smith, WR, Florida State
  • Collins Ukwu, DE, Kentucky
  • James Vandenberg, QB, Iowa
  • Camden Wentz, C, North Carolina State
  • Jamaal White, SS, Northwestern State
  • Jerodia Williams, RB, Furman
  • Nathan Williams, LB, Ohio State

 

It is important to keep in mind that these are all unofficial until the team confirms their signings.  Check back, we’ll be updating as the rumors start to fly.

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