The Minnesota Vikings have started to sign members of their 2013 draft class, as the team announced that three picks have inked their rookie deals today.
The highest pick to sign thus far has been linebacker Gerald Hodges, who the Vikings took in the fourth round of this year's draft out of Penn State University. Hodges is expected to compete for a starting outside linebacker position if the rumored move of Erin Henderson to the middle linebacker spot takes place. He could possibly see time as a nickel linebacker.
Hodges' Nittany Lion teammate, linebacker Michael Mauti, has also signed his contract. Mauti is coming off of an ACL tear he suffered in November. . .the third such injury he had in his college career. . .but if healthy could be a real sleeper at the middle linebacker spot. (If you haven't noticed yet, Ted is really, really high on him.)
The other pick that signed was another of Minnesota's seventh round picks, defensive tackle Everett Dawkins. The Florida State University grad could serve as depth for the Vikings at defensive tackle. The defensive tackle position battle might be one of the more interesting ones of training camp this coming season, and Dawkins could be a big part of it.
This means that the Vikings have
five six (derp) more draft picks left to sign, including all three of their first rounders. . .Florida defensive tackle Sharrif Floyd, Florida State cornerback Xavier Rhodes, and Tennessee wide receiver Cordarrelle Patterson. They also need to sign their fifth-round pick, UCLA punter Jeff Locke, their sixth-round pick, UCLA guard Jeff Baca, and their other seventh-round pick, North Carolina guard Travis Bond.