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By: Aj Mansour | KFAN.com
Minneapolis, MN - Heading into the first round of Thursday night's NFL Draft, the Minnesota Vikings were armed with eleven picks including two first rounders (the 23rd and 25th picks). Armed with so many selections, the Vikings were thought to have been one of the more flexible teams in this year's draft.
It was the consensus thought that the Vikings were in prime position to not only get a player that they wanted (and needed) to join their team, but the possibility that they could trade out of one of their spots was also pretty likely.
What actually transpired Thursday night at Winter Park, was not reflected in the slightest way on anybody's mock drafts.
Pick #23: Sharrif Floyd, DE Florida
When pick number 23 rolled around, the Vikings acted quickly snatching up defensive tackle from the University of Florida, Sharrif Floyd.
At 6'3" tall and 295 pounds, Floyd was projected to be drafted as highly as the second overall selection in the first round, but for one reason or another started to slide and fell right into the laps of the Minnesota Vikings. Floyd is a three technique under tackle that will likely split time with Kevin Williams in 2013.
During his time at Florida, Floyd played in 37 games recording 115 tackles, 4.5 sacks and blocking three field goal attempts
"I went through a thousand scenarios in that 23rd and 25th pick and I can tell you honestly, he was not in one of those scenarios," Rick Spielman said Thursday night. "I think he has the combination not only to play the run but to rush the passer inside as well. He's a young player that's only going to get better."
Pick #25: Xavier Rhodes, CB Florida State
Armed with another first round selection that they had acquired from Seattle as part of the deal for Percy Harvin, the Vikings snatched up another defender that they likely did not believe would be around when those chose at 25.
Xavier Rhodes hails from Florida State University where he developed a reputation as one of the top cover corners in the country. Standing at 6'2" tall and weighing in at 217 pounds, Rhodes will fit in nicely defending the big receivers of the NFC North.
The Vikings received a lot of calls in regards to the 25th selection but when Rhodes was still on the board, the decided that he was too good to pass up!
"We feel he is going to be a great matchup with the type of receivers that we have to face in this division," Spielman added. "We've really tried to emphasize on getting bigger corners, that was kind of our criteria...He's as big a corner as you can get, and he can run and he has ball skills. He fits all the things that we're looking for in this scheme."
And then IT happened...
Holding his phone to his ear, public relations guru Tom West scurried to the stage and made an announcement saying, "one last question and then Rick will be able to follow up with you in a minute. I think you need..."
And with that, Spielman jogged off the stage and back into the closed doors that lead towards the Vikings Draft War Room.
In the mean time, Vikings head coach Leslie Frazier was on the radio with Paul Allen and KFAN when he too received the "wrap it up early" signal from a handler and scampered back off into the War Room.
It quickly became clear that something was up, and all eyes were once again glued to the television screen that was set up in the Winter Park Field House.
Word started to trickle out that the Vikings were in talks with the New England Patriots and attempting to move back up into the first yet again, to make their third selection in the opening round. By the time the dust had settled, the Vikings had sent their 2013 2nd, 3rd, 4th and 7th round picks to the Patriots in exchange for New England's 1st round selection (#29 overall).
Pick #29: Cordarrelle Patterson, WR Tennessee
For the first time since 1967, the Minnesota Vikings had made three draft selections in the first round of a draft. The Vikings third, and final, pick for the first day of the 2013 NFL Draft turned out to be wide receiver from Tennessee, Cordarrelle Patterson.
Patterson is a unique story as he really only played one season of division one football at Tennessee after having been a junior college transfer the year before. However, during that one year of play with the Volunteers, Patterson did everything he needed to turn some heads.
In one season of play, Patterson racked up a school-record 1,858 all purpose yards (receiving, rushing and returning) and five touchdowns. Still very raw at the receiver position, Cordarrelle's 6'3", 205 pound frame is appealing as a receiver and his 4.3 speed makes him a high upside receiving prospect, but where he really shines is on kickoff and punt returns.
In 2012, Patterson averaged 28.0 yards per punt return, 25.3 yards per kickoff return and became the first player in the NCAA to score a touchdown four different ways since 2008 (receiving, rushing, kick return and punt return). Sounds like a pretty good replacement for Percy Harvin doesn't he?
"We felt, besides Tavon Austin, that [Cordarrelle] was the most explosive play maker with the ball in his hand," Spielman said. "We were very, very aggressive to go do that just because I know of what he can do as a receiver, but especially what he can do as a potential punt and kickoff returner because he is magic in that area as well."
All in all, the Vikings were aggressive in addressing three of their biggest needs with three legitimate first round talents and fans should be pretty happy
The trade with New England leaves the Vikings without a single draft pick on day two (Friday) but they remain with a 4th rounder (120 overall), a 5th rounder (155 overall), a 6th rounder (189 overall) and two 7th rounders (213 & 214 overall) for the final day of the draft.
Stay tuned to KFAN.com for coverage of the 2013 NFL Draft as the weekend continues...
Aj Mansour covers Minnesota Sports for KFAN.com. Feel free to leave comments and questions regarding this post in the space provided below. For Vikings' updates and breaking Vikings' news, follow Aj on Twitter. @AjKFAN