With the first three rounds of the NFL draft in the books, the Vikings addressed three huge areas of need--offensive line, safety, and cornerback.
Although the picks have been well received by most of the fans, what are they saying around the NFL?
Let's take a spin around the sports world and the blogosphere to see what the general consensus is on the first three rounds of the draft for the Vikings:
Ted Glover, Daily Norseman: I usually hate these things, because grading a draft before any of these players play a down in the NFL seems a bit pointless. But this year, I really like not only who the Vikings got, but how they got them. In the first round, they moved back one spot with Cleveland, got three additional picks, and still drafted the guy they wanted all along, LT Matt Kalil. Kalil solves two problems on the offensive line, as last year's LT Charlie Johnson can move inside to guard. With the padding of those extra picks, the Vikings used their second round pick to move back into the bottom of the first round. By trading with Baltimore at #29 overall, they were able to address another huge need in the secondary, grabbing Notre Dame safety Harrison Smith. In the third round, they took CB Josh Robinson, a speedster that has starter-caliber talent. With three picks, GM Rick Spielman addressed what are arguably the Vikings three biggest areas of need with quality talent. Grade: A
Pete Prisco, CBSSports.com: In the first round, he gives the Vikings an A+ for Kalil, saying: "They get the best left tackle, one of the cleanest players in the draft, and get extra picks to trade down. Nice move, Minny." For the Smith pick, he gives a B+, saying: "The Vikings were horrible on the back end of their defense. Teams killed that secondary. This is a good, solid pick." For round 3, he grades out Josh Robinson at a B-.
WalterFootball.com: Walter Football is as impressed as anyone. They gave the Vikings an A+ grade on Kalil, A- on Smith, and an A on on Robinson. Like everyone else, they thought the first round trade for Kalil was shrewd, and the other two picks were great value at positions of need.
Joel Thorman, SBNation.com: Thorman gives the Vikings an overall grade of B in the first round. He loved the Kalil pick, and gave a thumbs up to the trade. And although he likes Harrison Smith, he wasn't a fan of the trade to get back into the first round.
Mike Mayock, NFL Network: Mayock really likes all three picks for the Vikings. He gives Kalil a grade of 95, saying Kalil is a guy that you can trust to protect Christian Ponder's blindside. He feels Harrison Smith is the best pure zone safety in the draft, and Josh Robinson has 'starting-caliber talent'.
Sigmund Bloom, Bleacher Report: Their slideshow format just sucks, so just trust me when I tell you that they liked what the Vikes did. Bloom gave the Kalil pick and A+, calling him the best pass blocker in the draft, "and it's not even close." he only gives the Smith pick a C, but feels the Vikes rebounded nicely by grading out the Robinson pick as an A. Overall grade is an A.
John Clayton and Kevin Seifert, ESPN: Clayton named the Vikings the biggest winners after round 1, saying, "The Vikings came out with Kalil and Smith, and have 10 more choices over the final two days of the draft. It doesn't get much better than that."
Seifert thought that 'order was restored', as Rick Spielman made the right play after trying to muddy the waters in the days and weeks leading up to the draft.
Overall it's been a very good two days for the Vikings. Going into the final day of the draft, they have 9 picks remaining, including three in the fourth round. The Vikings have done a very good job of replenishing their roster up until this point, and they have a golden opportunity to continue to do so on Saturday.