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 introduce three newest playmakers

Posted by: Updated: April 26, 2013 - 5:04 PM
This afternoon, the Vikings unveiled not one, not two, but three new draft picks. A day after pulling off a trifecta no one saw coming, the organization was left without any picks for Friday night’s second or third rounds. But that was just fine with General Manager Rick Spielman, who was still glowing over Thursday night’s additions of defensive tackle Sharrif Floyd, cornerback Xavier Rhodes and receiver Cordarrelle Patterson.
 
That trio all flew together Friday morning from New York City, where they got their welcome-to-the-NFL hugs from Commissioner Roger Goodell, to the Twin Cities, where they were introduced as Vikings.
 
“I introduced them to our staff and you could feel that energy and all that momentum,” Spielman said. “I think building off of last year’s energy and being able to accomplish what we’ve accomplished so far it exciting. You’ve got the new uniforms. And we’ve got the new stadium coming. There are a lot of positives here in Minnesota and we’re looking to continue to build on that.”
 
After hitting rock bottom in 2011 with a 3-13 faceplant, the Vikings rallied with a strong 2012 draft and used that to aid a 10-win rebound campaign. Now they’ll add three first-round picks to a playoff team, an amazing twist to which Spielman was still trying to digest the significance.
 
He certainly had no second thoughts about all that happened Thursday with Floyd falling to the Vikings at 23, Rhodes still being available at 25 and Patterson sitting on the board so late in Round 1 that the organization spent four total draft picks to charge up to the 29th slot.
 
For those wondering whether the Vikings spent too much to get Patterson, Spielman pointed out that they basically flipped their second-round pick at 52 into the 29th pick while also giving away their final of three seventh-round picks, which is something of a throwaway slot. The GM also stockpiles extra picks each year in order to have the flexibility to make such moves. Which is why surrendering a third-round pick and one of two fourth-rounders didn’t seem to hurt so much.
 
Said Spielman: “If you were to say, in a normal draft, we had a first-round pick, a second-round pick and a third-round pick, is there any chance of us getting these three players? No way. So to be aggressive and to get three first-round picks, which I have never done in my entire career, it was kind of a unique opportunity that presented itself.”
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