The Minnesota Vikings went into the 2013 NFL draft with high expectations, but nobody could foresee Florida defensive tackle Sharrif Floyd, a solidified top-10 pick, drop into the Vikings lap with the 23rd pick.
“I went through a thousand scenarios at that 23rd and 25th pick and I can tell you honestly he was not in one of those scenarios,” Spielman said. “So for him to fall down to our lap, there were some conversations as he fell to potentially even move up. But as the names kept falling off the board, we had more than enough options to just sit there and let everything fall to us. And when Sharrif fell to us, it was something that was very unexpected.”
Backing up another huge need the Vikings selected Florida State corner Xavier Rhodes with the 25th pick in the draft. Rhodes is primarily an outside corner and thus is not a direct replacement for Winfield. Josh Robinson, the Vikings 3rd round pick in the 2012 draft, could potentially be moved to the inside, but don’t be surprised if the Vikings use a later round pick to select another corner.
Landing two of four needed positions, Vikings GM Rick Spielman quickly escaped a press conference to potentially move back into the first round. Moments later the Vikings had struck a deal with the New England Patriots giving the Vikings the 29th overall pick in exchange for four picks: the Vikings 2nd, 3rd, 4th, and 7th round picks. With the 29th pick in the 2013 NFL draft the Minnesota Vikings selected Cordarelle Patterson, a highly touted yet raw receiver from Tennessee.
Day one of the draft was perfect.
Everyone – media, fans, and experts – expected the Vikings to select Manti Te’o with one of the three first round picks, but the Vikings easily passed up the catfish-riddled linebacker from Notre Dame. The Vikings have numerous options on how to address the sizable middle linebacker gap. Here is my mock for the Vikings 4th-7th round picks:
4th round (#120) – Michael Mauti, LB, Penn State
By far the biggest need is a linebacker and Mauti is one of the highest rated linebackers left on the board. Don’t be surprised if the Vikings pick the best player available with this pick. Multiple highly rated players like NT Jesse Williams and DE Alex Okafor have fallen from the projected 2nd round and could be swooped up by the Vikings if available.
Other potential picks: Barrett Jones, G/C, Alabama; Jesse Williams, DT, Alabama; Alex Okafor, DE, Texas
5th round (#155) – Quanterus Smith, DE, Western Kentucky
Jared Allen, Brian Robison, and Everson Griffen’s contracts are all expiring at the end of the season. Quanterus Smith had 12.5 sacks before tearing his ACL in the 2012 season (likely to start 2013 season on PUP). Taking a flier on a guy like this in the 5th round makes sense as he will be able to learn from Jared Allen for a year. This would also be the perfect time to look at offensive line depth. The Vikings need help at the guard positions.
Other potential picks: Greg Reid, DB, Florida State; Alvin Bailey, G, Arkansas; Kevin Reddick, LB, North Carolina
6th round (#189) – Greg Reid, DB, Florida State
Reid was kicked off the Florida State team after the 2011 season due to possession of pot. He transferred to Valdosta State where he promptly tore his ACL in training camp. Reid has a top kick/punt returner in the nation while at Florida State and a hard hitting corner. At 5’8 and 190 pounds, Reid is one of the harder hitting defensive backs in college football (pound for pound). This would be a great pick to try and replace Winfield.
Other potential picks: Landry Jones, QB, Oklahoma; Mike Catapano, DE, Princeton; Jelani Jenkins, Florida
7th round (#213) – Levine Toiolo, TE, Stanford
It only makes sense the Vikings draft another Tight End, I mean, why not? They could potentially take a shot at the Olympic shot putter Lawrence Okoye from the United Kingdom – by all accounts he is an athletic freak, but hard pressed to think nobody takes him before the Vikings pick.
Other potential picks: Lawrence Okoye, DT/DE, United Kingdom; Edmund Kugbila, G, Valdosta State
7th round (#214) – Kerwynn Williams, RB, Utah State
Doubtful that the Vikings trade Toby Gerhart at this stage the Vikings will still need a third down back. Matt Asiata and Toby are similar in size/speed so a change in pace back could be drafted.
Other potential picks: Robbie Rouse, RB, Fresno State; Micah Hyde, CB, Iowa