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RandBall: The euphoria that was the Vikings draft party

  • Blog Post by: Michael Rand
  • April 26, 2013 - 12:00 AM

 

That is a picture of a fan taken at the Vikings draft party tonight, but there is at least a 17 percent chance GM Rick Spielman is underneath that Freddy Krueger mask. Don't fall asleep on him. That's when he strikes.

 

As far as fans were concerned, Spielman had already -- to mix sports metaphors here -- hit a home run by grabbing Sharrif Floyd at No. 23 and Xavier Rhodes at No. 25. Good, fine, done. Not that fans should be the barometer of success, but Vikings fans were pretty savvy on this one. They didn't want Manti Te'o -- the linebacker we were CONVINCED they were going to take. They booed lustily when asked by radio host Paul Allen if they wanted Te'o at No. 23.

Most seemed pleased with Floyd and Rhodes, who filled needs on the defensive line and at cornerback. The only ones with concern were those who wanted the Vikings to have taken a wide receiver.

And that, of course, is where the night got weird.

About 90 percent of the estimated 6,000 fans in attendance left quickly after the Vikings took Rhodes, figuring the night was over for the local team. That's when Spielman decided he would risk the home run for the possibility of a grand slam.

The Vikings game up a lot in volume -- second, third, fourth and seventh round picks -- in trading with New England. But if you believe in the "draft pick value charts" that GMs supposedly use, the pick the Vikings got, No. 29 overall is worth 640 points. The picks they gave up are worth about 650 combined.

In addition to leaving Joe Andruzzi on the stage a bit more awkwardly than originally hoped, it landed the Vikings their coveted wide receiver.

Cordarrelle Patterson is a big play guy who can return kicks. That's good. He had his only 100 yard game (actually 229) last year against Troy. That's worrisome. But he's a clear talent and he fit a clear need.

The Vikings went into Thursday with gaping holes at linebacker, wide receiver, defensive line and cornerback. Three of those problems look much better now. And the fourth -- linebacker -- will maybe be addressed via a one-year stopgap like Brian Urlacher. Do you like the sound of that?

Fans on Thursday night sure did.

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