What others are saying about the Vikings' draft

  • Updated: April 28, 2012 - 9:23 AM
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Minnesota Vikings first round draft picks Matt Kalil, right, and Harrison Smith congratulated each other Friday.

Photo: Genevieve Ross, Special To The Star Tribune

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On Vikings first-round picks Matt Kalil and Harrison Smith

"Minnesota GM Rick Spielman just became the early candidate for Executive of the Year with a deal that netted the Vikings three draft picks for doing ... well, absolutely nothing. Apparently, Spielman's talk about potential trades put Cleveland in a panic, with the Browns nervous they could lose running back Trent Richardson. So they took no chances, launching a pre-emptive strike to make sure Richardson didn't get away. That meant Minnesota picked up three draft picks, as well as the guy it was going to take at the third spot anyway, tackle Matt Kalil -- and I call that smart."

CLARK JUDGE, CBSSports.com

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"The Vikings got three picks to move down one spot, still got the guy they've liked for months -- a guy who fills the top need on their board -- and they use some of those picks to move again later on and nab the second-best safety in the draft, which also happens to be a huge need. Kalil is the one guy in the draft you feel can help at left tackle immediately. Smith has great instincts and helps them in coverage. Solid day."

MEL KIPER, ESPN

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"There's like three limos in front of Winter Park. Did they dismember Kalil and ship him in separate pieces or something? #whatsinthebox"

CHRIS KLUWE, Vikings punter, on Twitter (@ChrisWarcraft)

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"Great Selection Vikes! We welcome you with open arms! Matt Kalil"

ADRIAN PETERSON, Vikings RB, on Twitter (@AdrianPeterson)

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"Couldnt be happier with the Vikings first round!"

KYLE RUDOLPH, Vikings tight end, on Twitter (@KyleRudolph82)

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"Vikings General Manager Rick Spielman proved to be the shrewdest among the wheelers and dealers. The process started by getting the word out that they wanted to draft either Kalil or cornerback Morris Claiborne. The idea was to convince the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, who started with the No. 5 pick, that they might be left with Claiborne if the Vikings selected Kalil and the Browns selected running back Trent Richardson. He also got word out that other teams were interested in picking No. 3. Unlike the Bucs, the Browns knew the Vikings wouldn't take Richardson; they have Adrian Peterson on the roster. The Vikings came out with Kalil and [Harrison] Smith, and have 10 more choices over the final two days of the draft. It doesn't get much better than that."

JOHN CLAYTON, ESPN.com

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"Had the Vikings passed Thursday night on the opportunity to draft USC left tackle Matt Kalil, I would have been left questioning one of the most basic premises of life. Crazy Rick Spielman, the Vikings' general manager, tried to convince us that he might turn the earth on its axis. In the end, Spielman stopped short of losing his mind. He took Kalil over LSU cornerback Morris Claiborne because his team was barren at one of the most difficult positions to fill in football. Spielman drafted Kalil because the immediate future of the franchise depends on creating a more comfortable environment for quarterback Christian Ponder. And Kalil is a Viking because there are more ways to elevate poor secondary play than there are to fill a hole at left tackle. Spielman demonstrated just that by trading back into the first round to select Notre Dame safety Harrison Smith."

KEVIN SEIFERT, ESPN.com

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