1 (23) - Shariff Floyd, DT, Florida; 1 (25) - Xavier Rhodes, CB, Florida State; 1 (29) Cordarrelle Patterson, WR/KR, Tennessee; 4 (120) - Gerald Hodges, OLB, Penn State; 5 (155) - Jeff Locke, P, UCLA; 6 (196) - Jeff Baca, OG, UCLA; 7 (213) - Michael Mauti, ILB, Penn State; 7 (214) Travis Bond, OG, North Carolina; 7 (229) - Everett Dawkins, DT, Florida State
Top Pick Analysis: Vikings general manager Rick Spielman scored big on the first day, snaring a pair of sliders in Floyd and Rhodes before trading back in for a third first-round pick and nabbing playmaker extraordinaire Patterson. Floyd was rated as a top-five talent by some and projects as a Richard Seymour-like factor playing the three-technique. The fact he will be learning under one of the best of this generation, Kevin Williams, also won't hurt. Rhodes was in the top 15 on most boards and is a long, powerful corner tailor-made for Minnesota's base Tampa-2 scheme. Patterson is raw but may be the most explosive offensive player in this draft outside of West Virginia's Tavon Austin. He's a YAC (yards-after-catch) machine and an impact returner who could cure the Vikings' woes outside the numbers on offense in time.
Best Value Pick: Minnesota needs a middle linebacker and took a flyer on Mauti in the seventh round. The Penn State linebacker is an instinctive, natural Mike who would have rated as a second- or third-round pick but fell because he's already had three ACL injuries. If Mauti ever stays healthy, he could be a starter at the NFL level.
Questionable Calls: Trading away your entire second day for Patterson is a gamble because he is so raw as a receiver. He catches the ball with his body far too often, has trouble getting off the jam and has shown inconsistent effort as a blocker.
Summary: Floyd, Rhodes and Patterson all were considered top-15 picks at some point in the process so make no mistake, a ton of talent is on its way to Minneapolis. Spielman also got perhaps the best punter in the draft, Locke, to push the inconsistent Chris Kluwe, and snared a pair of solid prospects in the later rounds, Baca, an offensive guard, and Dawkins, a defensive tackle, who was Rhodes' teammate at FSU.
FINAL GRADE: B+
Undrafted rookie free agent signings: Furman TE Colin Anderson; North Carolina State S Brandan Bishop; Penn OL Joe Bonadies; Eastern Washington WR Nicholas Edwards; Georgia Southern LB Darius Eubanks; North Carolina WR Erik Highsmith; Portland State DE Marquis Jackson; Southern Methodist FB Zach Line; Fresno State RB Robbie Rouse; Winona State RB Rayon Simmons; Florida State WR Rodney Smith; Kentucky DE Collins Ukwu; Iowa QB James Vandenberg; North Carolina State C Camden Wentz; Furman RB Jerodis Williams; Ohio State DE Nathan Williams