Yet again, it's a post from our buddy Andrew over at Bleed Purple Vikings blog. I heard that there was a draft over the weekend, I wasn't paying much attention as I was filling myself with BBQ and booze down in Kansas City. More on that trip coming up later this week. Until then, enjoy the Vikings draft breakdown from Bleed Purple and be sure to check out Bleed Purple often for Vikings news and opinion.
The Minnesota Vikings get an A- during the NFL Draft. Of course the Vikings hit it big with three first round draft picks in Sharrif Floyd DT from Florida, CB Xavier Rhodes from Florida State and WR Cordarrelle Patterson Tennessee. I believe each one of these guys can make an immediate impact this year.
Rick Spielman lost out on some good talent in rounds 2-3 by trading away picks to New England to grab Patterson. Cordarrelle must be a home run pick in order for this draft to become an A or A+.
The Vikings then in the fourth round drafted Gerald Hodges a Linebacker out of Penn State. Hodges has good football IQ and instincts. He is a solid fourth round pick with some upside. He needs to improve his man coverage skills and speed. He is a very good tackler and can play very well in zone defense.
With their fifth round pick the Vikings drafted Punter Jeff Locke from UCLA. The Vikings loved this guy before the draft and might of reached a bit for him, but I am sure are excited to have a guy with such a huge leg and accuracy. Look for the Vikings to either trade or cut current Punter Chris Kluwe.
In the sixth round the Minnesota Vikings selected Jeff Baca UCLA Guard. Jeff is a guy who should fit our scheme well and has the ability to play Guard and Tackle. He has great pass blocking skills and needs to improve moving big defensive lineman in run blocking.
With the seventh round the Vikings get Linebacker Michael Mauti. Mauti is all around good in the run and passing game. He tackles well and has good instincts. Michael has injury issues over the years that has limited his productivity and must prove he can still play football at a high level.
Also in the seventh round the Vikings take Travis Bond OL North Carolina. Travis can play either Guard or the Tackle position and needs to improve his footwork and hands. He adds depth to this line and could possibly fill in if the line has injury issues.
Yes, the Vikings also got another seventh round pick in Everett Dawkins DT from Florida State. Dawkins isn't a very big defensive tackle and needs to put on some weight to play at the next level. He has a quick first step and could be a surprising seventh round pick.
Overall the Minnesota Vikings filled some major holes on offense and defense and even picked up a Special teams stud. Rick Spielman always says you can't grade a draft until after 3 years, so as of now I give it an A- and I hope this draft class will be better than that. We can't afford to not have our first round picks not live up to expectation and we need to have found some gems with our late round picks.