2013 NFL Draft - Minnesota Vikings

Posted Apr 29, 2013

Minnesota Vikings - NFC North, 2013 Draft Selections & Prospects

Minnesota Vikings

2013 NFL Draft Team Analysis - AFC
EAST Buffalo | Miami | New England | NY Jets
WEST Denver | Kansas City |  Oakland | San Diego
NORTH Baltimore | Cincinnati  Cleveland | Pittsburgh
SOUTH Houston | Indy | Jacksonville | Tennessee

2013 NFL Draft Team Analysis - NFC
EAST Dallas | NY Giants | Philadelphia | Washington
WEST Arizona | San Francisco | Seattle | St. Louis
NORTH Chicago | Detroit | Green Bay | Minnesota
SOUTH Atlanta | Carolina | New Orleans | Tampa Bay    
- 2012 Minnesota Draft Breakdown
- 2011 Minnesota Draft Breakdown
- 2010 Minnesota Draft Breakdown 

The Draft Was ... wonderful. The Vikings like big name players from big name schools, and they worked hard to get them moving up to get three terrific first round picks in Florida defensive tackle Sharrif Floyd, Florida State corner Xavier Rhodes and Tennessee receiver Cordarrelle Patterson, who could turn out to be a bigger, less explosive Percy Harvin. Punter Jeff Locke was a reach in the fifth round, but Penn State linebackers Gerald Hodges in the fourth and Michael Mauti in the seventh were good gets, and Florida State defensive tackle Everett Dawkins could be a seventh round selection who sticks.
Best Value Pick: DT Sharrif Floyd, Florida in the 1st round
Worst Value Pick: P Jeff Locke, UCLA in the 5th round
They Should've ... taken Florida running back Mike Gillislee in the sixth round. There were several decent punters to choose from, and there was no reason whatsoever to go with Locke in the fifth. Gillislee has a ton of tread left on the tires and could've been a tough back who could take a few carries a game away from Adrian Peterson. He went nine picks later to Miami.
Division Draft Ranking: 1
Conference Draft Ranking: 3


DT Sharrif Floyd, Florida (Jr.) 6-3, 297
Overall Pick No. 23 CFN Position Rank: 5

CFN Analysis: Phenomenal value. The production on the field doesn't match the tools or skills, but in a draft full of reaches and projections, Floyd was considered a possible No. 3 overall pick to Oakland as recently as last week. The Viking defense loves athletic linemen and good defensive players from big schools, and in time, he has the potential to be the next great Minnesota defensive tackle.

Versatile with the ability to play in any spot in the 3-4, he can work as an end and be a tough pass rusher or he can sit on the nose and hold his own as an anchor. A superstar prep prospect, it took a little while but he came through and showed what all the hype was about as a smooth, quick defender off the ball and the motor to kill linemen who don't bring it on every play. However, while he was a key part to a special run defense, the production and numbers weren't there and he hasn't yet reached his potential. On the good side, there's a high ceiling with Pro Bowl tools, but he's not a sure thing and can be erased by double teams and power ground games that run right at him. Even with all the concerns, there's enough talent and athleticism to be special with a little bit of time and patience.
CFN Projection: First Round

CB Xavier Rhodes, Florida State (Jr.) 6-2, 210
Overall Pick No. 25 CFN Position Rank: 3

CFN Analysis: Merry Christmas. Not only did the Vikings get a relative steal in Sharrif Floyd two picks earlier, but they also came up with a big, talented corner who can fill an instant void and need area. There are still several big concern areas and lots of work to do, but they upgraded their defense with some excellent talents in just two picks.

With tremendous size and 4.4 speed, he looks the part with all the right abilities and skills – he's right out of central casting. Strong, he's able to provide the big jam at the line without a problem, and he's fast and smooth enough to stay with the sleeker, faster receivers. Good for any style, he doesn't have any problems getting physical and he'll make the big tackle when needed. Even with his frame, his wheels and his leaping ability, he didn't quite play up to the part in college, getting burned from time to time when it didn't seem like he was focused enough. There are durability concerns suffering a knee injury a few years ago, but it didn't slow him down. He'll need a few years to fine tune his craft, but he'll start from Day One. There's perennial Pro Bowl upside.
CFN Projection: First Round

WR Cordarrelle Patterson, Tennessee
(Jr.) 6-2, 216
Overall Pick No. 29 CFN Position Rank: 1

CFN Analysis: He's a project and might need a little bit of work, but considering the Vikings just lost Percy Harvin, they got a bigger version who can be a go-to receiver in time. He'll get the ball in a variety of ways as he fills a desperate need for an offense that needs receiving weapons. He's a piece of a puzzle more than THE guy, but he's a talent and one of the most dangerous targets in the draft.

Very big, very fast, and very quick for his size. He has No. 1 wide receiver tools and is the one guy in the draft who looks like the next big thing. Absolutely effortless, he looks like he's running in slow motion as he's using his 4.4 speed to come up with dangerous plays in the open field. Creative and devastating on the move, he's able to break his man down and get positive yards, especially as a punt returner. He'll have no problems helping out his quarterback by taking away the 50/50 chances from the defensive back, and he'll always be around the ball.

There's some tweaking to be done, though. He needs to become a sharper, more consistent route runner, and he needs to prove that he can get the job done for more than one year after coming up from the JUCO ranks, but there won't be a lot of patience. The upside is there to eventually become a perennial Pro Bowl performer, but he needs to dive into an NFL playbook – hard – and do all the little things right. Even so, as is he's already going to be one of the most productive targets at the next level, but the sky's the limit with the right coaching and effort. CFN Projection: First Round  


OLB Gerald Hodges, Penn State 6-1, 243
Overall Pick No. 11 CFN Position Rank: 120
With a great body and excellent toughness and versatility, he can play inside or out, he should be able to fill in wherever needed in a linebacking corps with good enough athleticism to do just about anything. A former safety, he's smooth with the right body and the right quickness to fit in fine on the weakside. A productive star for a team full of great defensive players, he was terrific against the run and can blast people when he gets to the ball. While he's not huge, he handles himself well and doesn't have a problem mixing it up with the bigger blockers. There's a hard ceiling and there might not be a ton of upside, but he's simply a good football player who can be a decent starter for a long time.
CFN Projection: Third Round


P Jeff Locke, UCLA 6-1,209
Overall Pick No. 155 CFN Position Rank: Not Ranked


OG Jeff Baca, UCLA 6-3, 302
Overall Pick No. 196 CFN Position Rank: 11
A terrific run blocker who's always going 100 miles per hour and never gives up on a play. Extremely quick and showing fantastic feet in offseason workouts, he can move. He's the type you want to be one of the leaders and key parts of an offense. Is he big enough? While he did a great job of blocking at the collegiate level, he's not going to shove anyone around even though that was his game at UCLA. He needs to be in the right offense and has to wall off his man rather than blast over or through him, but that might not be a bad thing if he isn't asked to get the hard yard.
CFN Projection: Third Round


ILB Michael Mauti, Penn State 6-2, 243
Overall Pick No. 213 CFN Position Rank:12
A whale of a football player with phenomenal instincts and tackling skills, he makes up for several problems by always being around the ball by taking as few steps as possible. He thinks five steps ahead of the play and gets there with the ability to make the play. A pure leader, the team followed him blindly – for good and bad – during the disaster as he took on the role of being the main spokesman for the players. If he was 100% healthy he might be the best inside linebacker in the draft, but his knees can't hold up. He wasn't a great athlete to begin with, and then he had absolutely no luck whatsoever. Just when it seemed like he was back from a knee injury, he suffered another one. While he should be great for the short term, it's impossible to expect more than a few years – if that – because of his injury problems.
CFN Projection: Fourth Round

DT Everett Dawkins, Florida State (Jr.) 6-2, 292
Overall Pick No. 229 CFN Position Rank: 16
While he's too small and doesn't have the raw bulk or strength to hold up against the run on a regular basis, he's slippery and doesn't stay blocked as a potentially decent interior pass rusher. While he has to load up on his strength and conditioning, when he's on, he's extremely quick off the ball and doesn't let blockers get their hands on him – he's always moving with a decent hustle and motor. His weight is always going to be an issue as a linebacker-sized guy with lots of packed on weight, and he never really exploded like he should've in college thanks to a slew of dings. If he can stay healthy he could be a nice playmaker into the backfield if he can get his body right and work on the finer points of his technique.
CFN Projection: Fourth Round