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.
GERALD HODGES, LB, PENN STATE – FOURTH ROUND – PICK #120
He has spent time throughout his career at safety, outside linebacker, and even middle linebacker. His most likely landing spot for the Vikings is at weakside linebacker, especially if the Vikings kick Erin Henderson inside, but he brings some much needed range and speed to a group of linebackers that get overrun by mobile quarterbacks. He’s a little undersized, but I still think he might be our best option when it comes to covering some of the speedier tight ends on the schedule.
JEFF LOCKE, P, UCLA – FIFTH ROUND – PICK #155
I don’t understand the confusion and surprise over this pick. Special teams coordinator Mike Priefer traveled from campus to campus digging deep on the punter prospects in this class. The Vikings jumped to the front of the line and landed their most coveted one in Locke. In doing so, they save over a $1 million in cap space (assuming they promptly cut Kluwe) that can help them in the later stages of free agency. They also get way younger at yet another position and arguably upgrade their ability to have better field position throughout the season. Locke is a left-footed punter that Spielman described as an excellent directional technician and as a great holder. Blair Walsh and Locke stand to help the Vikings become on of the NFL’s premier special teams units for years to come.
JEFF BACA, G, UCLA – SIXTH ROUND – PICK #196
The Vikings needed to add some competition to the offensive line as well as some versatility, and Baca brings all of the to the table. He was experience playing at every position of the O-line and should immediately be in competition for either guard spot, or as a utility backup. He has nice size, if a very good run blocker, and has 45 starts under his belt as he enters the NFL. Don’t be surprised if he starts to push Brandon Fusco in training camp for the right guard spot.
MICHAEL MAUTI, LB, PENN STATE – SEVENTH ROUND – PICK #213
His injury history is long and serious. When healthy, however, Mauti was one of the better middle linebackers in all of football. He is known as a high character leader that helped keep the Penn State program intact after the Sandusky scandal turned everything upside down. He’s played every linebacker position in the 4-3 defense, but is surely going to be in the mix for the Vikings vacancy in the middle. Eric Sugarman signed off on this selection which means that Mauti should, at least temporarily, be a healthy addition to the training camp competition.
TRAVIS BOND, G, NORTH CAROLINA – SEVENTH ROUND – PICK #214
At 6′-6″ and 329 pounds, Bond is a big huge dude, but he is currently the smallest he has been in a long time. Bond prides himself on being road grader in the run game and, while he might be a long shot to make the roster in the end, I hope to see him line up next to Phil Loadholt at least once in the preseason. That’d be a mammoth duo for Adrian Peterson to run behind on the right side of the line.
EVERETT DAWKINS, DT, FLORIDA STATE – SEVENTH ROUND – PICK #229
Yet another addition to the defensive line, which will have an enormous amount of compeition this offseason. Dawkins is an undersized guy with experience playing the three-technique position, so he will join Floyd in providing the veterans with some competition at what is suddenly the teams deepest position. He makes up for a lack of size by playing with speed and technique, providing some pressure on the quarterback.