Matt Vensel is in his first year at the Star Tribune after covering the Ravens for the Baltimore Sun for six years. He is a Pittsburgh native and a Penn State grad. Follow him at @mattvensel.


Mark Craig has covered the NFL for 23 years, and the Vikings since 2003 for the Star Tribune. He is one of 44 Pro Football Hall of Fame selectors. Follow him at @markcraignfl.


Master Tesfatsion is the Star Tribune’s digital Vikings writer. He is a 2013 graduate of Arizona State and worked for mlb.com before arriving in Minneapolis. Follow him at @masterstrib.


Vikings land defensive tackle, cornerback, wide receiver

Posted by: Mark Craig under Vikings, Football on TV, Vikings defense, Kevin Williams, Vikings rookies, Vikings roster moves Updated: April 25, 2013 - 10:58 PM

The Vikings made the biggest splash on the first night of the NFL Draft, landing defensive help with their own picks and then making a shocking trade to pick up a wide receiver.

Defensive tackle Sharrif Floyd of Florida was taken at No. 23, cornerback Xavier Rhodes of Florida State was taken at No. 25, and wide receiver Cordarrelle Patterson of Tennessee was landed at No. 29.

Still, the circus isn't coming to town. The Vikings, in desperate need of a middle linebacker and completely in love with Notre Dame, opted not to take Notre Dame middle linebacker Manti Te'o, who you might have heard, was entangled in a bit of an embarrassing internet girlfriend hoax.

The Vikings had to trade both their Friday picks, the second and third rounders, in the Patterson deal. They also sent a fourth and seventh to New England for the talented, but troubled, wideout.

Floyd, who is 6-2 1/2, 305 pounds, can play nose tackle this year and move to under tackle next year, when Kevin Williams is expected to be done as a Viking. Williams turns 33 this August and will make a guaranteed $4.9 million in the final year of his restructured contract.

Floyd is the first defensive linemen taken by the Vikings in the first round since Williams was taken ninth overall in 2003.  Floyd also is the first defensive tackle taken above the fourth round since Williams was taken 10 years ago.

Vikings GM Rick Spielman didn't wait long to replace Antoine Winfield, taking Rhodes two picks later. A big corner who some thought would go earlier seems like a decent pick that should start or at least be among the top three corners.

Spielman was holding a news conference to discuss the team's first two first-rounders when he sprinted out of the room and the trade with New England was announced a short time later.

Patterson addresses another big need after the team traded star Percy Harvin to Seattle in the offseason. He will give quarterback Christian Ponder the big, outside receiver he's been missing

 

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