I will review the picks briefly. Arif has done a fantastic job reviewing them already thus there is really no need to duplicate the efforts.
1.23 - Sharrif Floyd DT Florida 6'2.5" 297.
He has 31 3/4" arms which is the shortest of all the DTs drafted. He ran the 40 in 4.87 and had a 10 yard split of 1.68. Both times were in the top 1 or 2 of the DTs drafted. I like the pick a lot and many felt he would be gone early. He is compared to Muhammad Wilkerson here
I think that the comparison is off as Wilkerson is 6'4.1" 315 and has 35 1/4" arms. I think players he compares to in size are Tyson Alulu, Ricky Jean-Francois, Ziggy Hood, Corey Liuget, and Sheldon Richardson. But they all have longer arms by at least an inch. I am not sure why that matters so much because you would think an inch or two should not make a difference. I am going to say that even though I am not a scout, I do not think it matters too much. You cannot teach talent and Floyd has plenty.
Floyd was ranked #9 by cbssports which gives the Vikings a +14 in value.
This pick gets an A+ because of the need and he was the clear BPA. This is a perfect example of having the draft come to you.
I am very happy with this pick since I have been banging the drums for more DTs for quite awhile. So to me, this is the best pick of the entire draft.
1.25 Xaveir Rhodes CB Florida State 6'1.4" 210
He ran a 4.41 forty with a 1.47 10 yard split. He has very long arms at 33 3/4". His 3 cone was below average at 7.29 which is a bit troubling. He has an outstanding vertical at 40.5" and broad jump at 11.0". He did 14 reps on the bench which was about average. That can be improved upon once he gets into an NFL strength and conditioning program. He is compared to Brandon Browner here
I think players he compares to in size are Jimmy Smith, Chris Cook, & Sean Smith. The only issue I have is the 3 cone. I hope he just stumbled or maybe did not go real hard because that number is blow average. http://sports.yahoo.com/nfl/news?slug=ys-threeconedrill032409 Maybe it means nothing because clearly he is a very good corner. Interesting.
Rhodes was ranked #17 by cbssports which gives the Vikings a +8 in value.
This pick gets a A+ because of the need and he was the clear BPA. This is another perfect example of having the draft come to you.
Now at this point the draft is off to a fantastic start. No one really could complain about anything up to this point. I suppose you could say they may have gone for Patterson or Ogletree here. But then what about CB? It is tough. Very tough. So the draft then takes a monumental change in course which will be the key to judging this draft for years.
The Vikings traded up to the 29th pick.
1.29 Cordarelle Patterson WR Tennessee 6'1.7" 216
He ran a 4.37 forty with a 1.55 10 yard split. He has very long arms at 31 3/4". He had a vertical of 37" and broad jump at 10.8". He did 9 reps on the bench which was below average but not a huge concern. That can be improved upon. He is compared to Demaryius Thomas here
I think players he compares to in size are Alshon Jeffery (he is an inch shorter), Justin Blackmon (he is an inch taller), Nick Toon (almost exact same size), Da'Rick Rogers (Rogers is about .7 inch taller), Dez Bryant (Bryant was 8 lbs heavier), and Arrelious Benn. Of course, the only one who has the return ability of Patterson is Bryant and even he may not be as good.
This is the most controversial pick of the draft because it cost the Vikings 3 picks to move up. They gave up 52, 83, 102, & 229 to move up to 29. So it was 4 players for 1 player. Although they did recoup the 7th rounder later it was not known at the time of the trade. I really cannot see the math any other way and I will not. But everyone can look at it however they want. I just do not think in the same way. It is simple. They had 4 picks that they traded for 1. End of story.
Considering the consensus scouts opinion about Patterson being raw or not a polished receiver, this pick is going to continue to be the key to this whole draft IMO.
It was a bold move and one that I applaud. I wish they could have given up the extra 3rd next year and hung onto their 3rd or 4th this year. But Spielman wants to keep his picks for next year.
Patterson was ranked #33 by cbssports which gives the Vikings a -4 in value.
This pick gets a A- because of the need but he was not the BPA. Manti Te'o was ranked #25, Geno Smith was ranked #21, & Alec Ogletree was ranked #31 just to name a few. But giving up that many picks for any of these players would have probably been considered a worse move.
This is an example of going to get your guy. I like it since they identified Patterson as a player they wanted. They are the scouts after all.
That was it for the first round and a lot of fans were excited! But there were quite a few that were not thrilled with the trade and subsequent pick of Patterson mainly due to the cost. I feel this is a legitimate position to have. There is nothing wrong with disagreeing with the trade up decision.
So we had to spend Friday night watching pick after pick go by hoping in some remote way that the Vikings could figure a way back into the end of the 3rd round. Well, at least some of us were. But alas, nothing happened.
At the start of Saturday there were still some very good players on the board. There was also a renewed cry to move up for certain players like Barrett Jones or Khaseem Greene. The Vikings stood pat though.
4.23 Gerald Hodges LB Penn State 6'1.3" 243
He ran a 4.72 forty with a 1.62 10 yard split. He has 32" arms. He had a vertical of 35" and broad jump at 9'11". He did 22 reps on the bench which was about average. He had two straight seasons over 100 tackles and is considered to be good in coverage as a converted safety which is exactly what the Vikings need. He is compared to Quincy Black here
I think that comparison is off a little because black was considerably faster having run a 4.42. It is hard to find a LB that he compares to besides DeVonte Holloman. Hodges had twice the tackles as Holloman over the last two years.
This pick gets a B+ in my book because of the need and Hodges' production but he was not the BPA at the time. This is an example of chasing the draft.
Hodges was ranked #134 by cbssports which gives the Vikings a -14 in value.
I think Jesse Williams, Quinton Patton, and Da'Rick Rogers were better players at this point. Clearly the team was not too concerned about LB as evidenced via the trade up to get Cordarelle Patterson. So why break from the outstanding draft you were having to chase a need? Although Hodges was not too much of a reach. Still I would not have done it.
Now the next pick is where the draft went completely mental IMHO.
5.22 Jeff Locke P UCLA 6'1" 209
I do not have any workout stats on a freaking punter. I can tell you that right now. He did have 77 punts for a 43.34 yard average. He also kicked off 89 times and had 68 touchbacks which is 76.4%. Pretty good. I could not find any stats on how many punts were downed inside the 20 or any other stats.
Locke was ranked #99 by cbssports which gives the Vikings a +56 in value.
This pick should be a A but for me it is a C. The only reason it is not an F is because Locke was good in college.
I still think it was totally asinine to go for a punter this early. And please do not bring up the cowardly Lions who also stupidly took a punter in the 5th round. These were the only two teams dumb enough to take a punter at all. No other punters were taken. So what does that tell you? It tells me other teams want to try and avoid punting. That would be my goal. There were too many good players still on the board to take Locke. Add to that the fact that the Vikings still had Kluwe and it is just indefensible. Kluwe did not have a great year statistically last year. He knows it too
"I think I was in the middle to bottom in terms of numbers," said Kluwe, who ranked 22nd in gross average (45.0) and 17th in net during a remarkable statistical season for punters in 2012.
"But at the same time, I've also been asked for multiple years now by special teams coaches to punt it shorter and higher so our guys can cover. That's what I did. That's what the team wanted."
... Kluwe had one of the best hang times in the league which is what he was asked to do. So why get a punter to replace him besides to save about 1 mil in salary? It was just freaking stupid.
And to top it all off, the two time Ray Guy Award winner, Ryan Allen from La Tech, did not even get drafted. You think the Vikings could not have tried to sign him as an UDFA or even take him with the last pick? How about Quinn Sharp from Oklahoma State? He kicked off better than Locke, punted, and did field goals. He did not get drafted either for some strange reason.
I do not care what anyone says. There were too many good players left on the board to be worried about a freaking punter. Jordan Poyer was available. Yeah he lasted all the way to the 7th round but there is no way that Sherels is better. Da'Rick Rogers was still available. Ryan Swope, Tavarres King, and Kenjon Barner were available. A LB pretty comparable to Hodges was there too and that is DeVonte Holloman. I would have been very happy with him.
The next pick got the draft back on track. But the Vikings went for a guard which was OK because we needed some help. But at this point in the draft you have to wonder if that guard is going to be able to make a difference.
6.28 Jeff Baca G UCLA 6'3.3" 302
He ran a 5.03 forty with a 1.68 10 yard split. He has very long arms at 34.5". He did 28 reps on the bench which was about average. He is compared to Daniel Kilgore here .
I really am not going to do guard comparisons. It is hard to find and quantify. I will say that the areas he needs work are the exact areas where the Vikings need help. Apparently, he can be pushed back in the pocket by larger, stronger DTs. Fantastic. We already have Johnson and Fusco who seem to excel in this department. But Baca is a battler and played some tackle too so he does have position flexibility. I am OK with this pick.
Baca was ranked #145 by cbssports which gives the Vikings a +51 in value.
This pick gets a solid B.
On a side note I will say that I am kind of sick of the same school stuff. I do not know why but it makes me think of them being lazy.
I also think there were some better players available like Poyer, Rogers, Michael Buchanan, & Reid Fragel.
The next pick we went back to the same school mentality.
7.7 Michael Mauti LB Penn State 6'2' 243
Almost everyone knows about his injury history so there is really no need to go there. It is a concern though. he has 32 1/2" arms. He did 28 reps on the bench. He did not run because he is rehabbing still. When he was healthy he was pretty good. He is compared to Barrett Ruud here
Mauti was ranked #170 by cbssports which gives the Vikings a +43 in value.
This pick gets a solid B and could be an A later depending on how Mauti plays.
7.8 Travis Bond OG North Carolina 6'5.7" 329
He ran a 5.24 forty with a 1.80 10 yard split. He has very long arms at 35.5". He did 22 reps on the bench which was just below average. He is compared to Ramon Foster here .
He seems like he could be a decent prospect and if he can play then putting him next to Loadholt is going to make the right side of the line massive.
Bond was ranked #234 by cbssports which gives the Vikings a -20 in value.
This pick gets a solid C.
I was confused by this pick too. Once again Poyer and Rogers were still available. Alvin Bailey, Reid Fragel, Xavier Nixon, and Nicholas Williams were available too.
I think the offensive line now has Kalil, Johnson, Sullivan, Fusco, Loadholt, Berger, Love, Kropog, Olsen, Holmes, Baca, and Bond.
7.23 Everett Dawkins DT Florida State 6'2.1 292
He has 32 3/4" arms. He ran the 40 in 5.00 and had a 10 yard split of 1.71. He did 23 reps on the bench which is just below average. He is compared to Derek Landri here
Dawkins was ranked #176 by cbssports which gives the Vikings a +53 in value.
This pick gets a solid B because of the value.
Still, there were a couple of players better that the Vikings obviously did not like.
Overall, I think the draft gets a B+ grade. The strength of the first round carried the overall grade.
Now, just for the heck of it I am going to do two re-drafts. One will be with all the trades and the other will be without the main trade.
This is the re-draft using the Patterson trade
1.23 - Sharrif Floyd DT
1.25 - Xavier Rhodes CB
1.29 - Cordarelle Patterson WR
4.23 - Jesse Williams DT
5.22 - DeVonte Holloman LB
6.28 - Jeff Baca G
7.7 - Michael Mauti LB
7.8 - Jordan Poyer CB
7.23 - Reid Fragel OT
This is the not using the Patterson trade ...
1.23 - Sharrif Floyd DT
1.25 - Xavier Rhodes CB
2.20 - Arthur Brown LB
3.21 - Quinton Patton WR
4.5 - Barrett Jones OG
4.23 - Jesse Williams DT
5.22 - Andre Ellington RB
6.28 - Jordan Poyer CB
7.7 - Michael Mauti LB
7.8 - Charles Johnson WR
7.23 - Reid Fragel OT
I think the draft will have to be looked at from the perspective of if the Vikings did not trade up for Patterson and stayed put. They could have had Arthur Brown at #52 unless Ozzie Newsome would have traded up higher. In that case they could have taken Keenan Allen at #52 and Khaseem Greene at #83.
Yeah, Patterson better be the real deal. I think he is though. I am happy with the draft. I am just giving some things to think about.
The list of free agents is already posted here
I will say that like the following players ...
Zach Line, Rodney Smith, Nathan Williams, Robbie Rouse, Jerodis Williams, Marquis Jackson, Darius Eubanks, and Brandan Bishop.