Vikings notebook: No concerns with top two picks

  • Article by: MARK CRAIG and DAN WIEDERER , Star Tribune staff writers
  • Updated: April 26, 2013 - 12:39 PM

Rick Spielman said character concerns and off-the-field issues were not the reasons Florida defensive tackle Sharrif Floyd and Florida State cornerback Xavier Rhodes fell to Minnesota

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Xavier Rhodes catches a pass during an agility drill at pro day at Florida State University Tuesday, March 19, 2013, in Tallahassee, Fla.

Photo: Phil Sears, Associated Press - Ap

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Vikings General Manager Rick Spielman said character concerns and off-the-field issues were not the reasons Florida defensive tackle Sharrif Floyd and Florida State cornerback Xavier Rhodes fell to Minnesota at the 23rd and 25th picks of the NFL draft on Thursday night.

“No,” Spielman said. “[They’re] very clean. We met with both of them numerous times. There were no personal issues, no off-field issues when it comes to what we look for in bringing [players] into our building.”

Spielman said he must have gone through “a thousand different scenarios with the 23rd and 25th picks, and I can tell you honestly that [Floyd] was not in one of them.” Of course, Spielman never imagined eight offensive linemen would be picked ahead of him.

Five of the top 10 picks were offensive linemen, and the biggest surprises were the Giants taking Syracuse tackle Justin Pugh No. 19 and the Bears taking Oregon guard Kyle Long at No. 20.

“It worked in our favor because a lot of our needs that we were trying to fill were on the defensive side of the ball,” Spielman said. “I think the run on the offensive linemen had an [big] part of those guys falling to us.”

Megatron antidote?

The Vikings now have two corners who are 6-2 in veteran Chris Cook and Rhodes, who is even a little heavier than Cook at 217 pounds.

“I know we’ve really tried to emphasize getting bigger corners,” Spielman said. “That was kind of our criteria. We got a lot of calls on trades for the 25th pick and then Xavier Rhodes was sitting there — a big, press, shutdown corner that, we feel, is going to be a great matchup with the type of receivers that we have to face in [the NFC North].”

The Vikings play Detroit’s 6-5 Calvin Johnson and Chicago’s 6-4 Brandon Marshall a combined four times a year.

“[Rhodes] has the instincts to play zone, but he plays a lot of press and he’s a shutdown press corner,” Spielman said. “He’s as big a corner as you can get and he can run and he has ball skills.”

Floyd has flexibility

There’s little doubt Floyd will be expected to replace veteran under tackle Kevin Williams as the full-time starter in 2014. Williams, who turns 33 in August, is in the final year of a contract that’s guaranteed for $4.9 million.

For this season, it’s possible Floyd could slide to the nose position and replace Letroy Guion as the starter.

“I think he has the flexibility to play inside at nose,” Spielman said. “But I think his true position is the three-technique just because of his natural quickness and athletic skill set. … He can play the run, he can rush the passer. He played some end his junior year and when they moved him back inside to his natural position, he really flourished and showed what he can be as a defensive tackle.”

Floyd is the first defensive tackle the Vikings have selected above the fourth round since Williams was taken ninth overall in 2003.

Big Pat back … for a day

In a ceremonial move, the Vikings re-signed former nose tackle Pat Williams, who has been out of football since his Vikings contract expired after the 2010 season.

The idea for the one-day contract, Williams said, came from Spielman, who called him last month.

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Cincinnati - LP: M. Latos 4 FINAL
Baltimore - WP: B. Norris 5
Boston - WP: J. Kelly 9 FINAL
NY Yankees - LP: S. Greene 4
Detroit - WP: P. Coke 4 FINAL
Cleveland - LP: C. Allen 2
NY Mets - WP: J. Niese 8 FINAL
Miami - LP: B. Penny 6
Philadelphia - WP: K. Kendrick 4 FINAL
Atlanta - LP: M. Minor 0
Toronto - WP: R. Dickey 8 FINAL
Tampa Bay - LP: J. Hellickson 2
Milwaukee - LP: Y. Gallardo 1 FINAL
Chicago Cubs - WP: J. Arrieta 7
LA Angels - LP: C. Wilson 3 FINAL
Houston - WP: B. Peacock 8
Chicago WSox - WP: D. Webb 6 FINAL
Minnesota - LP: L. Oliveros 3
Texas - LP: M. Kirkman 1 FINAL
Kansas City - WP: J. Frasor 2
Pittsburgh - LP: J. Locke 4 FINAL
St. Louis - WP: A. Wainwright 6
San Francisco - WP: G. Kontos 12 FINAL
Colorado - LP: M. Belisle 7
Seattle 6 Bottom 9th Inning
Oakland 5
Washington 1 Top 9th Inning
Los Angeles 4
Arizona - LP: B. Ziegler 1 FINAL
San Diego - WP: K. Quackenbush 2
Green Bay 9/4/14 7:30 PM
Seattle
Buffalo 9/7/14 12:00 PM
Chicago
New Orleans 9/7/14 12:00 PM
Atlanta
Minnesota 9/7/14 12:00 PM
St. Louis
Cleveland 9/7/14 12:00 PM
Pittsburgh
Jacksonville 9/7/14 12:00 PM
Philadelphia
Oakland 9/7/14 12:00 PM
NY Jets
Cincinnati 9/7/14 12:00 PM
Baltimore
Washington 9/7/14 12:00 PM
Houston
Tennessee 9/7/14 12:00 PM
Kansas City
New England 9/7/14 12:00 PM
Miami
Carolina 9/7/14 3:25 PM
Tampa Bay
San Francisco 9/7/14 3:25 PM
Dallas
Indianapolis 9/7/14 7:30 PM
Denver
NY Giants 9/8/14 6:10 PM
Detroit
San Diego 9/8/14 9:20 PM
Arizona
Miami-Florida 13 FINAL
(25) Louisville 31
Arizona 9/4/14 7:00 PM
TX-San Antonio
Pittsburgh 9/5/14 6:00 PM
Boston College
Washington St 9/5/14 9:30 PM
Nevada
SMU 9/6/14 11:00 AM
North Texas
Fla Atlantic 9/6/14 11:00 AM
(2) Alabama
Buffalo 9/6/14 11:00 AM
Army
(24) Missouri 9/6/14 11:00 AM
Toledo
Arkansas State 9/6/14 11:00 AM
Tennessee
(7) McNeese State 9/6/14 11:00 AM
(19) Nebraska
Central Mich 9/6/14 11:00 AM
Purdue
Akron 9/6/14 11:00 AM
Penn State
Western Ill 9/6/14 11:00 AM
(18) Wisconsin
(20) Kansas State 9/6/14 11:00 AM
Iowa State
(4) Oklahoma 9/6/14 11:00 AM
Tulsa
Western Ky 9/6/14 11:00 AM
Illinois
SC State 9/6/14 11:30 AM
(23) Clemson
Navy 9/6/14 12:00 PM
Temple
UAB 9/6/14 1:00 PM
Miss State
South Alabama 9/6/14 1:00 PM
Kent State
New Mexico St 9/6/14 1:00 PM
Georgia State
Colorado 9/6/14 2:00 PM
Massachusetts
Fresno State 9/6/14 2:00 PM
Utah
(2) Eastern Wash 9/6/14 2:00 PM
Washington
(14) USC 9/6/14 2:30 PM
(13) Stanford
Ohio U 9/6/14 2:30 PM
Kentucky
Middle Tennessee 9/6/14 2:30 PM
Minnesota
Northern Ill 9/6/14 2:30 PM
Northwestern
Missouri State 9/6/14 2:30 PM
Oklahoma State
Ball State 9/6/14 2:30 PM
Iowa
Maryland 9/6/14 2:30 PM
So Florida
Eastern Mich 9/6/14 3:00 PM
Florida
Georgia Tech 9/6/14 3:00 PM
Tulane
(15) Ole Miss 9/6/14 3:30 PM
Vanderbilt
Old Dominion 9/6/14 5:00 PM
NC State
(7) Michigan State 9/6/14 5:30 PM
(3) Oregon
(17) Arizona State 9/6/14 6:00 PM
New Mexico
Louisiana Tech 9/6/14 6:00 PM
Louisiana
San Jose St 9/6/14 6:00 PM
(5) Auburn
East Carolina 9/6/14 6:00 PM
(21) So Carolina
Duke 9/6/14 6:00 PM
Troy
Idaho 9/6/14 6:00 PM
ULM
(15) Sam Houston St 9/6/14 6:30 PM
(12) LSU
Michigan 9/6/14 6:30 PM
(16) Notre Dame
Lamar 9/6/14 6:30 PM
(9) Texas A&M
Northwestern St 9/6/14 6:30 PM
(10) Baylor
BYU 9/6/14 6:30 PM
Texas
Citadel 9/6/14 6:30 PM
(1) Florida State
San Diego St 9/6/14 7:00 PM
(21) North Carolina
Virginia Tech 9/6/14 7:00 PM
(8) Ohio State
Memphis 9/6/14 9:00 PM
(11) UCLA
Colorado State 9/6/14 9:15 PM
Boise State
Air Force 9/6/14 9:15 PM
Wyoming
Oregon State 9/6/14 9:30 PM
Hawaii
Texas Tech 9/6/14 10:00 PM
Texas-El Paso
Toronto 12 FINAL
Hamilton 13
Edmonton 13 FINAL
Calgary 28
Brt Columbia 9/5/14 6:30 PM
Ottawa
Calgary 9/6/14 6:00 PM
Edmonton
Hamilton 9/7/14 12:00 PM
Montreal
Saskatchewan 9/7/14 3:00 PM
Winnipeg
Minnesota 78 FINAL
Phoenix 96
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Date/Opponent Time W L Score
2014 preseason     
Aug 8 - vs. Oakland 7 pmX10-6
Aug 16 - vs. Arizona 7:30 pmX30-28
Aug 23 - at Kansas City 7 pmX30-12
Aug 28 - at Tennessee 7 pmX19-3
2014 regular season     
Sep 7 - at St. Louis Noon
Sep 14 - vs. New England Noon
Sep 21 - at New Orleans Noon
Sep 28 - vs. Atlanta 3:25 pm
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