Going into the draft, we knew what positions the Minnesota Vikings had needs at. . .they were looking for help at wide receiver, cornerback, and defensive tackle (among others). They helped themselves at two of those positions with their first two picks of the 2013 NFL Draft, as they got Sharrif Floyd at #23 and Xavier Rhodes at #25.
Then, to the shock of pretty much everybody, the team made a big move to get back into the first round at #29, making a deal with the New England Patriots. After much freaking out over the possibility that the Vikings gave up that much treasure to select Notre Dame linebacker Manti Te'o, the card was turned in, and the name that was on it was Tennessee wide receiver Cordarrelle Patterson.
Obviously, with the Vikings having that need at wide receiver, they had done their due diligence on Patterson. But how much? Well, according to this report from the National Football Post. . .
The Vikings are well aware of the questions about Cordarrelle Patterson's ability to acclimate to the NFL quickly, and have a plan in place to get Patterson up and running. They had four pre-draft visits with Patterson, so they feel they know the kid about as well as possible. Part of those visits were aptitude tests. They are encouraging veteran free agent pickup Greg Jennings to take Patterson under his wing, and they will lean heavily on wide receivers coach George Stewart, who the Vikings consider one of the best in the business. The Vikings also believe the culture in their locker room will be good for Patterson. If all goes as they hope, the Vikings think Patterson can be a contributor on offense as a rookie, as well as a return man.
That's a whole lot of pre-draft visits to have with one guy, but apparently Rick Spielman and company were convinced. And, hey, if they're convinced, I have no reason not to be.
The article, containing notes from around the league, also states that had the Tampa Bay Buccaneers not traded the #13 pick in the draft to the New York Jets in exchange for cornerback Darrelle Revis, they were poised to take Xavier Rhodes. Instead, Rhodes wound up falling into Minnesota's lap at #25. Thanks, Tampa Bay!