Vikings thrilled with their three top-tier acquisitions

  • Article by: MARK CRAIG , Star Tribune
  • Updated: April 27, 2013 - 2:17 PM

A remaining hole at middle linebacker couldn’t dim the Vikings’ enthusiasm for three top-tier acquisitions.

Vikings General Manager Rick Spielman was feeling good enough about the defensive puzzle he’s assembling to share a lighter moment from the morning after the first round of the NFL draft saw him select a penetrating defensive tackle, a shutdown cornerback, an explosive receiver and, yes, no middle linebacker.

“My brother called me this morning and asked for a job,” said Spielman, referring to younger brother Chris, a four-time Pro Bowl middle linebacker who hasn’t suited up since 1999. “He said, ‘I still think I got it.’ But you know, he does have a new hip.”

Older brother made a counteroffer that involved reaching even further back to 1990, the last year Vikings Director of College Scouting Scott Studwell played for the Purple.

“I told Chris I’d sign him and Studwell and they could run in and out every other play to stay fresh,” Spielman said. “But that still leaves us without a third-down coverage linebacker.”

Nothing was going to wipe the smiles off the faces at Winter Park on Friday morning. Not even a big hole at middle linebacker and no picks in the second and third rounds thanks to a four-for-one deal the Vikings made with New England to select Tennessee receiver Cordarrelle Patterson 29th overall.

Defensively, Friday was a day to enjoy the still-incomplete puzzle that now includes three first-round difference-makers under the age of 25. Florida defensive tackle Sharrif Floyd, who many considered a top-five talent, was taken 23rd, while Xavier Rhodes, a 6-2 cornerback from Florida State, came two picks later. They join starting free safety Harrison Smith, last year’s 29th overall pick.

“The draft just fell our way [Thursday],” defensive backs coach Joe Woods said. “These two defensive guys are arguably the best guys at their two positions.”

Woods’ only complaint from Thursday was the delay that exists between the time picks are made and when they are announced on television. As a position coach, the only time Woods gets invited to the team’s war room on draft day is to join in the conference call of a player picked at his position.

“My office is right next to [defensive line coach] Brendan Daly’s,” Woods said. “I heard him come back after we picked Sharrif. The TV still didn’t have the Colts’ pick at No. 24, so I wasn’t ready to celebrate. But I asked Brendan if he had heard what we’ll do at No. 25 and he said, ‘I think we already took the corner.’ ”

At that moment, a scout knocked on Woods’ door and summoned him to the war room. The defensive celebration had spread to the back of the defense.

“That’s the first time I saw Coach [Leslie] Frazier jump up and high-five Joe Woods and then [defensive coordinator] Alan Williams. … There was the same kind of energy in that room that we had last year when we got Harrison,” Spielman said.

The energy was stoked throughout the night by Floyd’s free-fall, which was the result of an unexpected run of eight offensive linemen selected ahead of the Vikings. The tumble probably cost Floyd more than $12 million, but he’s happy to be a Viking and the Vikings are thrilled to have rare a defensive tackle who’s both run stuffer and elite pass rusher.

“He’s everything that we’re looking for in a defensive tackle who fits well within our scheme,” Spielman said.

He’s also motivated by the several snubs he received from teams that told him they’d take him if he were available.

“I feel I have a lot to prove to a lot of people,” Floyd said.

The selection of Rhodes also was a perfect fit, Spielman said. A receiver and running back until he arrived at Florida State, Rhodes not only looks like the physical presence the team needs at corner in the NFC North, but also displays a defensive mentality as well.

“I always tried to find contact [as a receiver],” Rhodes said. “My coaches always kind of told me I was crazy and needed to go over to the defensive side of the ball. That’s why they moved me to running back because I always wanted to run somebody over.”

The Vikings’ celebration will have to end soon, before they make their five picks in Rounds 4-7 on Saturday. Obviously, middle linebacker is priority No. 1.

  • related content

  • Vikings draft competition for Kluwe

    Saturday April 27, 2013

    The decision to draft Blair Walsh last year led to the end of veteran Ryan Longwell's time with the team. Will the decision to take punter Jeff Locke mean Chris...

  • Vikings draft Penn State linebacker in fourth round

    Saturday April 27, 2013

    Outside linebacker Gerald Hodges is the 120th pick in the draft

  • Patterson faces heady comparisons, crazy hype

    Saturday April 27, 2013

    Cordarrelle Patterson is even wearing Randy Moss’ old No. 84. Still, the Vikings must temper the expectations.

  • Vikings notes: Team passes on Te'o but praises him

    Saturday April 27, 2013

    GM Rick Spielman passed on Te’o three times in the first round.

  • The newest Vikings — first-round picks Sharrif Floyd, Xavier Rhodes and Cordarrelle Patterson — had smiles for the media at Winter Park on Friday, and inspired a lot of celebrating in the Vikings war room.

  • Shane Swanson of Bloomington, a patient at Children’s Hospital, got some time on Friday with the newest Vikings, including Sharrif Floyd, left, Cordarrelle Patterson, center, and Xavier Rhodes, right at Winter Park.

  • get related content delivered to your inbox

  • manage my email subscriptions

ADVERTISEMENT

Team Irvin 32 FINAL
Team Carter 28
Miami 96 FINAL
Chicago 84
Oklahoma City 98 FINAL
Cleveland 108
Dallas 106 FINAL
New Orleans 109
Indiana 106 FINAL
Orlando 99
LA Clippers 120 FINAL
Phoenix 100
Minnesota 100 FINAL
Atlanta 112
Detroit 110 FINAL
Toronto 114
Milwaukee 95 FINAL
San Antonio 101
Boston 111 FINAL
Golden State 114
Washington 117 FINAL
Denver 115
Houston 99 FINAL
LA Lakers 87
Team Toews 17 FINAL
Team Foligno 12
South Florida 53 FINAL
Connecticut 66
Boston College 64 FINAL
Georgia Tech 62
Virginia 50 FINAL
Virginia Tech 47
Indiana 70 FINAL
Ohio State 82
Stony Brook 61 FINAL
Binghamton 54
Cincinnati 56 FINAL
UCF 46
Maine 70 FINAL
Hartford 61
Monmouth 64 FINAL
Manhattan 71
Fairfield 67 FINAL
Marist 73
Rowan 48 FINAL
Princeton 96
St Bonaventure 48 FINAL
Rhode Island 53
Duke 77 FINAL
St Johns 68
Saint Peters 69 FINAL
Siena 55
Drake 40 FINAL
Wichita State 74
Vermont 61 FINAL
UMass Lowell 50
Seton Hall 57 FINAL
Butler 77
NJIT 72 FINAL
South Alabama 55
Northern Iowa 54 FINAL
Illinois State 53
Louisville 80 FINAL
Pittsburgh 68
UMBC 55 FINAL
Albany 69
Niagara 64 FINAL
Iona 87
Notre Dame 81 FINAL
NC State 78
Belmont 63 FINAL
Tennessee St 55
Creighton 50 FINAL
Villanova 71
Northwestern 67 FINAL
Maryland 68
Washington 56 FINAL
Utah 77
Senior-North 34 FINAL
Senior-South 13
Seton Hall 99 FINAL
Georgetown 85
St Johns 69 FINAL
Villanova 81
Arkansas 58 FINAL
Florida 72
Maine 56 FINAL
UMBC 42
Vanderbilt 55 FINAL
Alabama 52
Lafayette 60 FINAL
Lehigh 65
UCF 61 FINAL
SMU 57
Utah 51 FINAL
Washington 63
James Madison 73 FINAL
Coll of Charleston 53
Delaware 56 FINAL
Drexel 61
Hofstra 56 FINAL
William & Mary 57
Hartford 58 FINAL
Albany 82
Binghamton 54 FINAL
Stony Brook 67
Towson 63 FINAL
UNC-Wilmington 71
Wake Forest 80 FINAL
(17) Florida State 110
Georgia Tech 68 FINAL
Virginia 62
(22) Georgia 51 FINAL
(5) Tennessee 59
Drake 79 FINAL
Evansville 62
Iona 80 FINAL
Canisius 62
Fairfield 33 FINAL
Monmouth 59
Northwestern 75 FINAL
Penn State 76
Wisconsin 71 FINAL
Michigan State 77
Ohio State 79 FINAL
Purdue 71
Northern Iowa 57 FINAL
Indiana State 55
Butler 58 FINAL
Xavier 54
Creighton 93 FINAL
Marquette 75
Providence 42 FINAL
DePaul 90
Northeastern 77 FINAL
Elon 80
(2) Connecticut 96 FINAL
Cincinnati 31
Oregon 78 FINAL
Arizona 81
Bradley 46 FINAL
Loyola-Chicago 45
NC State 49 FINAL
(23) Syracuse 66
(7) Maryland 84 FINAL
Indiana 74
Illinois State 35 FINAL
Missouri State 58
Colorado 68 FINAL
Washington St 73
Tulane 45 FINAL
South Florida 64
(14) Kentucky 83 FINAL
Missouri 69
(9) Oregon State 68 FINAL
(13) Arizona State 57
Vermont 63 FINAL
UMass Lowell 72
Iowa State 58 FINAL
(8) Texas 57
Southern Ill 61 FINAL
Wichita State 80
(15) Duke 74 FINAL
(12) North Carolina 67
Miami-Florida 55 FINAL
(4) Louisville 68
(21) Minnesota 61 FINAL
(25) Rutgers 66
California 72 FINAL
UCLA 57
(11) Stanford 71 FINAL
USC 60
Connect with twitterConnect with facebookConnect with Google+Connect with PinterestConnect with PinterestConnect with RssfeedConnect with email newsletters

ADVERTISEMENT

ADVERTISEMENT

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 NoonX34-6
Sep 14 - vs. New England NoonX30-7
Sep 21 - at New Orleans NoonX20-9
Sep 28 - vs. Atlanta 3:25 pmX41-28
Oct 2 - at Green Bay 7:25 pmX42-10
Oct 12 - vs. Detroit NoonX17-3
Oct 19 - at. Buffalo NoonX17-16
Oct 26 - at Tampa Bay NoonX19-13 ot
Nov 2 - vs. Washington NoonX29-26
Nov 9 - Bye
Nov 16 - at Chicago NoonX21-13
Nov. 23 - vs. Green Bay NoonX24-21
Nov. 30 - vs. Carolina NoonX31-13
Dec 7 - vs. NY Jets NoonX30-24 ot
Dec 14 - at Detroit 3:25 pmX16-14
Dec 21 - at Miami NoonX37-35
Dec 28 - vs. Chicago NoonX13-9

ADVERTISEMENT

ADVERTISEMENT

ADVERTISEMENT

question of the day

Poll: Who will win the Super Bowl?

Weekly Question

ADVERTISEMENT

 
Close