Every Minnesota Vikings fan knows what a rollercoaster ride it is to follow this franchise. This is an organization that traded 12 players and draft picks for the likes of Herschel Walker and traded Randy Moss for Napoleon Harris and a draft pick (which we used to select Troy 'Butterfingers' Williamson). So I need not remind anyone why, at times, the Vikings ship seems misguided to the point of colliding with a glacier.
However, after Thursday night's draft, Vikings fans can finally rejoice that we have a man with foresight calling the shots: GM Rick Spielman. Last season was Spielman's singular draft with the GM title and it produced the likes of Matt Kalil, Harrison Smith, and Blair Walsh. Two of them made the Pro Bowl (Kalil and Walsh) and Smith could have easily gone as well. While much of last year's magic was made in the later rounds (Rhett Ellison, Jarius Wright, and the aforementioned Walsh), this year's crop of picks could prove the most impressive first day haul of any franchise in recent memory.
The Vikings used their 23rd and 25th overall 1st round picks to select Defensive tackle Sharrif Floyd (Florida) and Cornerback Xavier Rhodes (Florida State), addressing two immediate needs; then, to put the cherry on the draft day sundae, addressed their most major hole by trading four picks to New England to draft University of Tennessee receiver Cordarrelle Patterson, who many draft experts see as another Randy Moss-type with blazing 4.3 speed. Floyd, you could say, also resembles Moss (or, more specifically Warren Sapp) by undergoing a draft day slide that saw him fall from a projected top 5 choice to the latter first round.
Whether he becomes a draft day steal or a petulant headcase remains to be seen; but, one thing is certain: Vikings fans have got to be impressed with the first round workings of their Midas touch GM, Rick Spielman.