John Harbaugh Baltimore Ravens

Head coach Leslie Frazier and general manager Rick Spielman headed into this draft feeling they only need a little bit to get their team over the hump. Last year, his first, Spielman put a big overhaul on the roster and used the draft to add youth to the team. Considering he took over the team after a 3-13 season, I’d say he’s doing a pretty good job. Overall the Vikings did good with this draft, they addressed some needs that they had without reaching, and found good value. With the 23rd overall pick the Vikings selected Sharrif Floyd, DT from Florida. Floyd was one of the most improved prospects from 2011 to 2012. He is much stronger in his lower body and has developed more explosiveness as well. He lacks ideal length, but his first step is so quick that it allows him to get in a position to disrupt opponents. He found a home inside as a one-gap, penetrating 3-technique after playing end earlier in his career, and he should make an impact there at the next level. Ever since lining up more on the inside his production has increased. He has a high level motor and turned it up a notch in terms of toughness this past fall. He takes on all comers and has shown a mean streak when challenged on the field. He will fit perfectly in the 4-3 defense that Minnesota likes to play. He can line up on the inside and get a great push. One way the Vikings will keep the line fresh and the pressure strong is by rotating the defensive line. This is particularly important with an aging player like Kevin Williams. Minnesota doesn’t like to bring a lot of exotic blitzes, or many blitzes at all. They show movement up front by running stunts, which Floyd should excel at due to his quickness. They love their defensive linemen to be one-gap penetrators, and that's exactly what Floyd can be. The Vikings got very lucky by Floyd literally falling into their lap at 23.


Only 2 picks later, the 25th overall, the Vikings addressed a need by drafting Xavier Rhodes, CB from Florida St. Rhodes is a freak, not in the usual sense NFL guys use the word, but in the sense of his size that he brings, 6-1 and 210 lbs. and his speed, 4.43 40-yard dash. His length allows him some leeway on his positioning, but he could use improvement. He is also effective against the run with his size. It's tough to deny his potential. While Rhodes has good physical man-to-man skills, at first glance you might think he doesn't with this Tampa-2 defensive scheme. But he's actually perfect for it, because he can be effective against the run. He is equally effective playing zone or man coverage. The Vikings love to bring their corners on blitzes. That's something he does very well. If the defense plays in the nickel, forcing offenses to beat them with the run, they will need a lot of good corner play. With veteran Antoine Winfield gone, and starter Chris Cook continuing to fight injuries, he should be able to step in and start immediately and be their third corner in sub packages.