Tuesday, May 31, 2016

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Vikings Announce 2016 Undrafted Free Agents
Image courtesy of Vikings.com

Minnesota Vikings like Matt Asiata, Marcus Sherels, and Adam Thielen entered the league as undrafted free agents, but they’ve still managed to make meaningful contributions on the field. Despite the glamour that comes with being a first, second, or even third round selection, sometimes it’s the lesser-known names who play the most important roles for a team.

Last year, quarterback Tyler Heinicke and safety Anthony Harris made the final 53-man roster as such players. This morning, the Vikings announced the 2016 class of rookie free agent signings, which includes a handful of offensive skill players, cornerbacks, and a familiar face at quarterback.

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Cordarrelle Patterson's option NOT picked up

Vikings Keep Rhodes, Floyd through 2017
Image courtesy of Vikings.com

The Minnesota Vikings had until the end of today to exercise the fifth-year option on their three 2013 first round picks. Rather than wait until the deadline, though, the Vikings locked up two of the three, keeping a couple of Mike Zimmer’s key defenders in Minnesota through 2017.

According to NFL Network’s Ian Rapoport, the Vikings picked up the fifth-year options on defensive tackle Sharrif Floyd and cornerback Xavier Rhodes, who were taken with the 23rd and 25th picks in the 2013 NFL Draft. Floyd originally posted an ambiguous tweet indicating some good news, and Adam Caplan was the first to report the decision on Rhodes, per Rhodes’s agent.

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Image courtesy of Vikings.com

People like to make fun of Draft grades being posted immediately following the event’s conclusion, and for good enough reason, but there is no doubt that people love to read them. Here at Vikings Territory we are taking a slightly different approach to the normal quick analysis that accompanies these types of post (oh, we’ll have that too, I suppose) with the assignment of our 2016 Vikings Draft Grade.

It is easy to dismiss most draft grades as speculation, because they are. The most informed Vikings fans on the internet (you guys), however, took to our pages all weekend long to vote on each pick and trade the Vikings executed during the 2016 NFL Draft.

At the very least, your perception at fans has been measured, and there has to be some worth to that. We think there is, anyway.

Here are the results of each poll posted throughout Draft Weekend:

ROUND 1: Laquon Treadwell, WR, Ole Miss — A

Whether or not the Vikings preferred a different receiving threat is now irrelevant, and Vikings fans seem genuinely pleased with this addition of the big-bodied target to help get Teddy Bridgewater to the next level.

63% of you gave this the “A” grade we assigned. Only 6% of voters gave the Treadwell selection a “C” grade or worse.

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Jayron Kearse has NFL bloodlines as the nephew of former defensive end Jevon Kearse and cousin of former first-round cornerback Phillip Buchanon.

Kearse has the look of a game changing safety at 6’4” 216 pounds with long limbs and a thick build. He carries a presence when tackling and he out sizes most wide receivers.

The Clemson safety is a long strider and shows some closing speed and ability to cover a lot of ground, but unfortunately he ran a surprisingly slow 4.64 forty time at the combine.

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