Apr 27, 2012; Minneapolis, MN, USA; Minnesota Vikings head coach Leslie Frazier speaks to news media about first round draft picks Matt Kalil from Southern California (left) and Harrison Smith (right) from Notre Dame at Vikings headquarters. Mandatory Credit: Greg Smith-US PRESSWIRE

Minnesota Vikings End Draft Weekend By Adding Quite A Few New Faces

The Minnesota Vikings added three players through the first two days of the 2012 NFL Draft. They then wrapped it up on Sunday afternoon, adding quite a few new faces to the roster.

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Vikings In No Rush To Sign Rookies, And That's Not A Cause For Concern

The Minnesota Vikings are falling behind in a sense - in that they don't have any of their rookies under contract for the 2012 season, while most teams have already got started. That isn't necessarily a bad thing by any means, as things are made much simpler by the rookie wage scale in place. Rookies are sgiven a certain amount based on where they were drafted, give or take a few bucks here and there.

It still is a little odd as to why the Vikings haven't even gotten started, but the Pioneer Press sheds some light on things:

But there could be several reasons why the Vikings are waiting. Sometimes, it's as simple as cash flow/accounting. Teams want to make sure their books are in order. Maybe they haven't gotten around to negotiating with all the player agents. Some agents like to do business in person if they can. Such plans take time. Or maybe the team simply isn't ready.

As the piece goes on to note, the Vikings are simply being patient, and when they are ready to get players signed, it should come at a rapid clip. Even if rookies hold out to some extent, there's really no danger of entering training camp and the preseason with uncooperative rookies with the new wage scale.

Of course, it's a new scale, and there's a first time for everything!

For more on the Minnesota Vikings, go to Daily Norseman. You can also get all of your professional football news over at SB Nation's NFL hub.


2012 NFL Draft: 'Cleveland Did The Right Thing,' According to Vikings GM Rick Spielman

The Pioneer Press had a Q&A with Minnesota Vikings general manager Rick Spielman, who addressed a number of topics (even if he didn't touch a question about the recent arrest of running back Caleb King).

One of the issues discussed was what exactly transpired between the Vikings and Cleveland Browns during the first round of the NFL Draft.

The two teams, as you probably know, swapped picks, with the Browns moving up to No. 3 to get Trent Richardson and the Vikings dropping to No. 4 to get Matt Kalil, who they were expected to take all along at No. 3. The Vikes also landed Cleveland's fourth-, fifth and seventh-round picks.

From the Pioneer Press interview:

BS [Bob Sansevere]: One of the stories flying around is about Cleveland and whether any other team was prepared to trade with you....Was there a deal in place with another team?

RS [Rick Spielman]: We did have offers on the table, I can tell you that. I'm not going to tell you who or what. But I will say Cleveland did the right thing...

I think both teams benefited from that trade. Cleveland got a very unique running back (Trent Richardson), and it's very important for their offense - and I think we were able to accomplish what we wanted.

Over the weekend, The Cleveland Plain Dealer quoted Browns president Mike Holmgren saying that Cleveland had to pull the trigger on the move and didn't regret the bounty they gave up for Richardson.

For more on the Minnesota Vikings, go to Daily Norseman. You can also get all of your professional football news over at SB Nation's NFL hub, or check out SB Nation's YouTube channel:


2013 NFL Mock Draft: Vikings Go Defense In Early SB Nation Mock

We're barely through with the 2012 NFL Draft, so obviously it's time to start talking about the 2013 NFL Draft with a good old fashioned way-too-early mock draft!

The Minnesota Vikings made some good strides in this year's draft but still have work to do in order to catch up to their division, filled with offensively talented teams like the Packers and Lions. With that in mind, the new SB Nation 2013 NFL Mock Draft has the Vikings going toward the defensive side of things with the pick of a new DE/OLB, Sam Montgomery from LSU.

4. Minnesota Vikings, Sam Montgomery, DE/OLB, LSU

Their division rivals are going to be far ahead of the game. To compete, the Vikings need to become a defensive threat by adding an explosive pass rusher like Montgomery.

Assuming Christian Ponder turns into the first round pick that the Vikings thought he would be, building a defense to keep games in their court wouldn't be a bad start on the road to getting back to contention.

For more news and analysis on the Minnesota Vikings, check out The Daily Norseman. More on the NFL Draft, this year's and next's, can be found at Mocking The Draft.


2012 NFL Draft Grades: SB Nation Gives Final Grade Of A- To Vikings

The Minnesota Vikings have been getting rave reviews from all over the place after what has looked to be a great 2012 NFL Draft. They added a bunch of important pieces, had a great trading strategy that saw them gain a bunch of picks and still get the guy they wanted in the first place -- it was a good one by most accounts.

SB Nation's video recap of the NFC North agreed with the solid reviews that the Vikings have been getting, giving Minnesota an A- for their work. In addition to Matt Kalil obviously, the SB Nation gang were impressed by the good load of wide receivers that were picked up with WR being a huge need for them going in. Dan in particular also seems to like the color purple in general.

Their A- was tied for the highest score given in the NFC North with the Green Bay Packers.

For more news and information on the Minnesota Vikings, head over to The Daily Norseman. More analysis on the NFL can be found at SB Nation's NFL hub and more on this season's draft in general can be found at SB Nation's specialized 2012 NFL Draft section.


NFL Draft Results: Vikings' Rick Spielman Shows Savvy In First Draft As General Manager

In his first draft as the General Manager of the Minnesota Vikings, Rick Spielman started things off with a very good trade, and helped his team add solid players throughout.


2012 NFL Draft Grades: Minnesota Vikings Lauded For Draft Strategy

It takes a well-thought out plan to excel in every aspect of the NFL Draft, but early indications are that the Minnesota Vikings were one of the biggest winners in the league over the weekend. The Vikings traded down to get the same player they wanted anyway in lineman Matt Kalil, and then pounced on a possible Pro Bowl safety one day in Harrison Smith at No. 29.

Instead of addressing the secondary positions right away, Minnesota stuck to its plan and was still able to add a pair of future starters with its second (Smith) and third picks (Josh Robinson). Because of the way they let the draft work for them, Chris Burke of SI.com bestowed the Vikings with an "A" in his team-by-team draft breakdown.

Minnesota Vikings: You can dock Minnesota if you think Claiborne should have been the pick at 4 over OT Matt Kalil. I think the Vikings did the right thing, and their subsequent pickups of S Harrison Smith (29), CB Josh Robinson (66) and WR Jarius Wright (118) just add to that belief. Grade: A

The decision to add a pair of Arkansas receivers in Jarius Wright and Greg Childs was also interesting, since it was well-known that the pair are best friends and have played together competitively since early childhood. Even during a year when Minnesota took a position that doesn't normally get referred to as a "great pick" at No. 4 overall, the Vikings still managed to draft well enough throughout to bring home an outstanding haul worthy of top marks. That's a testament to the impressive job done by first-year GM Rick Spielman and his staff.

For more on the Vikings, head to Daily Norseman. For more 2012 NFL Draft coverage, head over to SB Nation's NFL Draft hub. And for more NFL coverage, check out SB Nation's NFL hub.


Minnesota Vikings Agree To Terms With 15 Undrafted Players

Defensive line was clearly not much of a priority for the Minnesota Vikings during the 2012 NFL Draft, as the team added just one player, California's Trevor Guyton, that can play on the line. To remedy this, as 1500 ESPN Twin Cities announced on Saturday, the Vikings have already agreed to terms with 15 undrafted free agents, and six of them play on the defensive line.

Only two of the 15 players, Derrick Coleman-RB and Kamar Jorden-WR, hail from offensive skill positions, as its clear that the Vikings needed the most help on the defensive side of the ball.

Here's a full list:

• Boise State DT Chase Baker
• UCLA RB Derrick Coleman
• Florida Atlantic DE Kevin Cyrille
• Nicholls State CB Bobby Felder
• Bowling Green WR Kamar Jorden
• Penn State DE Eric Latimore
• Iowa LB Tyler Nielsen
• Cal DE Ernest Owusu
• Hawaii LB Corey Paredes
• Virginia G Austin Pasztor
• North Carolina DT Tydreke Powell
• Missouri DT Terrell Resonno
• Mississippi State C Quentin Saulsberry
• Oregon T Darrion Weems
• South Carolina CB CC Whitlock

The Vikings' draft was given a B-plus by CBSSports.com, as top pick Matt Kalil is expected to anchor the offensive line for the next decade. Despite the long odds facing the 15 players above when it comes to actually making the active roster, general manager Rick Spielman is confident that he'll be able to find a few diamonds in the rough here, and maybe even a future starter down the line.

For more on the Vikings, head over to Daily Norseman. For more 2012 NFL Draft coverage, head over to SB Nation's NFL Draft hub. And for more NFL coverage, check out SB Nation's NFL hub.


Vikings 2012 NFL Draft Grades: Minnesota Receives High Marks For Filling Needs

The Minnesota Vikings were able to get the player they coveted at the top of the first round in Matt Kahil while still moving back to gather more assets for the draft. According to WalterFootball.com, the Vikings did quite well using those assets to add players to improve their roster heading into next season.

(Vikings GM ) Spielman had a brilliant draft. He upgraded the line, acquired two promising targets for Ponder (coincidentally, both Razorbacks) and improved the secondary. I don't know if he needed to trade up for Harrison Smith, but he had the ammunition to do so because of the Kalil deal. Smith will be the quarterback of the secondary - a leader at safety that the Vikings haven't had since Darren Sharper.

All in all, the Vikings had one of the top drafts in 2012. I absolutely loved what they did.

Quarterback Christian Ponder remains the key to the Vikings next season but it appears this draft will help Ponder continue to develop into the QB the team hopes he can be.

Get even more 2012 NFL Draft coverage, scouting reports, teams needs, etc. at Mocking the Draft. For more Vikings coverage, check out Daily Norseman. Be sure to visit SB Nation's NFL hub for the broader view.


Trevor Guyton Selection For Minnesota Vikings Is A Steal At The End Of The Draft

With their final pick of the 2012 NFL Draft, the 219th overall pick, the Minnesota Vikings may have gotten themselves a steal, selecting defensive end Trevor Guyton out of the University of California.

Guyton, a 6'2 1'2", 285-pound defensive end, was an All Pac-12 selection for the Golden Bears this year. He led the team in sacks with 5.5, and also threw in 12 tackles for a loss. He was rated by Mike Mayock as the 95th-best player in this year's draft, and the folks at ESPN had Guyton as the 92nd-best player overall. So, for the Vikings to get him at #219 overall is a steal by just about anyone's standard.

At 285 pounds, the Vikings might be envisioning Guyton as having the ability to move inside as well as play on the outside. In any event, the Vikings needed to take a look at their defensive line, and Guyton has allowed them to do that. Good, solid pick by Rick Spielman to finish his first draft as the general manager for Minnesota.

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Audie Cole Selection For Minnesota Vikings Strengthens Linebacker Corps

The Minnesota Vikings used their first seventh-round selection in the 2012 NFL Draft, the 210th overall selection, to add to their linebacking corps, taking North Carolina State inside linebacker Audie Cole.

Cole is one of the many players in the selection process that has slipped through the cracks a bit. He was projected to go much higher than he did, but represents good value for the Vikings in the seventh round. The 6'4", 245-pound Cole projects to be more of a middle linebacker in the Vikings 4-3 defensive scheme.

Audie Cole is a thumper when it comes to the running game, a solid tackler that has very good strength to take on offensive linemen at the second level of the defense. His coverage skills leave a little bit to be desired, but he could prove to be a very solid two-down linebacker for the Vikings' defense. He had 97 tackles and two forced fumbles for the Wolfpack last season.


Blair Walsh Selection By Minnesota Vikings Brings Competition For Ryan Longwell

The Minnesota Vikings went a bit off of the beaten path with their sixth-round pick in the 2012 NFL Draft, using the 175th overall selection to take kicker Blair Walsh out of the University of Georgia.

Walsh struggled as a senior after having two very good seasons with the Bulldogs. He converted 40-of-45 field goals in his sophomore and junior years, but went just 21-of-35 as a senior. Of the 14 field goals he missed, 10 of them were from 40 yards or more.

Walsh's biggest issue, from the looks of things, is that he has to develop a shorter memory. At the National Football League level, you don't get an opportunity to dwell on missed kicks before the next pressure opportunity comes along.

On the upside, he does have a very strong leg, and if he does end up replacing incumbent Ryan Longwell, would definitely help on kickoffs.

Outside of that, there's not a lot to say about this selection. It might have been a little early for the Vikings to tab a kicker, but they obviously thought it was a need that had to be filled.


2012 NFL Draft Results: Vikings Grab A Kicker In The Sixth Round

Ryan Longwell isn't getting any younger. Accordingly, the Minnesota Vikings selected a kicker in Georgia's Blair Walsh with the 175th pick in the 2012 NFL Draft -- the fifth pick in the sixth round.

Walsh, a native of Boca Raton, Fla., was a three-year starter for the Bulldogs and is known for his strong leg, consistently putting the ball in the back of the end zone on kickoffs. He had a field goal of 56 yards last season, as well, against Coastal Carolina. And he owns an NCAA record with at least one field goal in 45 games. But in spite of his strong leg, Walsh has had trouble with accuracy from distance, though. Last season, he was 5-of-12 on kicks from 40-to-49 yards.

Get even more 2012 NFL Draft coverage, scouting reports, teams needs, etc. at Mocking the Draft. For more Vikings coverage, check out Daily Norseman. Be sure to visit SB Nation's NFL hub for the broader view.


Minnesota-Detroit Trade: Vikings Get 2013 Fourth-Rounder From Lions

The Minnesota Vikings have already started acquiring picks for the 2013 NFL Draft, as they traded down from the 138th overall pick with their division rivals, the Detroit Lions.

In exchange for the 138th overall pick, which was a pick in the fifth round of this year's draft, the Vikings received the 219th overall selection and a fourth-round selection in the 2013 NFL Draft. The Vikings also sent the Lions the 223rd overall pick, which is the selection they received from the New England Patriots in the Randy Moss trade from back in 2010.

As it stands right now, the Minnesota Vikings have four picks remaining. They have one pick in the sixth round, #175 overall, as well as three picks in the seventh round at #210, #211, and #219.

We will continue to cover all of the Vikings' picks here at SB Nation Minnesota for your viewing pleasure. Stay right here for the latest on the Minnesota Vikings from the 2012 NFL Draft!


Robert Blanton Selection By Minnesota Vikings Adds To Defensive Versatility

The Minnesota Vikings continued to add to their secondary with their fifth-round pick in the 2012 NFL Draft, as they tabbed Notre Dame's Robert Blanton with the 139th overall selection.

Blanton spent most of his time at cornerback for the Fighting Irish, but at 6 feet tall and about 210 pounds, he projects more to the safety position in the National Football League. Perhaps the Vikings are looking to form an all-Golden Dome tandem with Blanton and Harrison Smith, who the Vikings selected in the first round.

Blanton's size and athleticism could give the Vikings some versatility in the defensive backfield. He has the size to potentially press bigger receivers at the line of scrimmage and, as I mentioned, the ability to move into the safety position. The scouting report on Blanton is that he is also diagnoses plays well and has decent agility, although his top-end speed is slightly below average.

Blanton and Smith are the third set of teammates drafted by the Vikings this weekend, along with USC's Matt Kalil and Rhett Ellison and Arkansas' Greg Childs and Jarius Wright.


2012 NFL Draft Results: Robert Blanton Goes To Minnesota Vikings In Fifth Round

After trading the 138th overall pick in the 2012 NFL Draft to the Detroit Lions, the Minnesota Vikings made Notre Dame safety Robert Blanton their selection with the 139th overall pick. These 2012 NFL Draft results don't exactly line up where Blanton was projected to go, as he was expected to go later in the draft.

In 13 starts for the Fighting Irish his senior season, Blanton had 70 tackles, two interceptions, and 13 pass breakups. He's a physical corner who figures to be a safety in the NFL.

Blanton joins Notre Dame teammate Harrison Smith, who the Vikings picked in the first round. The Vikings also have TEs John Carlson and Kyle Rudolph, and C John Sullivan from Notre Dame.

The Vikings' next selection comes in the sixth round at pick No. 175 overall.

Get even more 2012 NFL Draft coverage, scouting reports, teams needs, etc. at Mocking the Draft. For more Vikings coverage, check out Daily Norseman. Be sure to visit SB Nation's NFL hub for the broader view.


Greg Childs Selection By Minnesota Vikings Could Provide Big Receiving Threat

About 45 minutes after taking wide receiver Jarius Wright, the Minnesota took one of Wright's Arkansas teammates. . .one that just happens to play the same position as Wright does.

The Minnesota Vikings grabbed wide receiver Greg Childs with the 134th selection in the 2012 NFL Draft.

Childs is a bigger wide receiver, measuring in at about 6'3" and 220 pounds. The big knock on Childs is that he has some durability issues. He suffered a torn patella tendon in 2010 that caused him to miss a good portion of the season, and also had some concerns with his knees in 2011. When he's healthy, however, Childs could very well prove to be the big, physical receiver that Vikings fans have been looking for over the course of the past few seasons.

Childs' performance in 2011 was limited to just 21 catches for 240 yards and no touchdowns. It appears that this pick was made largely based on potential and not production, but it's one that could very easily pay off with big dividends for the Minnesota Vikings.


Rhett Ellison Could Be Minnesota Vikings Replacement For Jim Kleinsasser

The Minnesota Vikings made a pick that was a bit of a surprise with their second of three fourth round draft picks, tabbing Rhett Ellison out of the University of Southern California as their selection.

A player that played mainly tight end for the early portion of his career for the Trojans, Ellison moved to fullback this past season for Lane Kiffin's team. The 6'5", 250-pound Ellison was an all Pac-12 performer as a special teamer in 2011, and that's an area that the Vikings could certainly use help at.

Mike Mayock, the main analyst for the NFL Network, said during the broadcast that the USC offense "ran through Rhett Ellison" this past season. He has the ability to line up in-line as a tight end, as well as the ability to line up in the backfield. He could be. . .could be, mind you. . .the Vikings' replacement for the retired Jim Kleinsasser, but it might be a while before Ellison performs at that level.

Decent pick by the Vikings, in this writer's opinion, if a bit of a surprising one.


2012 NFL Draft: Vikings Select WR Greg Childs From Arkansas

The Minnesota Vikings selected Arkansas wide receiver Greg Childs with the No. 39 pick on the fourth round (No. 134 overall).

The Vikings are exceptionally thin at receiver, and the 6-3, 219-pound Childs could help bolster the unit.

As a senior last season, Childs had 21 catches for 240 yards. Those numbers aren't anything to write home about, but Childs missed four games. What's more, Childs was coming off a patellar tendon injury in late 2010 that sidelined him for some six months.

In eight games in 2010 prior to the injury, Childs had 46 catches for 659 yards and six TDs. As a sophomore in 2009, he had 48 catches for 897 yards and a whopping 18.7 yards per catch average.

Childs is the second receiver from Arkansas that the Vikings have taken in the Draft, having selected fellow Razorback Jarius Wright 16 picks earlier.

For more on the Minnesota Vikings, go to Daily Norseman. You can also get all of your professional football news over at SB Nation's NFL hub, or check out SB Nation's YouTube channel:


NFL Draft Analysis: Jarius Wright Selected By Minnesota Vikings

The Minnesota Vikings selected a player at a position of need at #118 overall, taking Arkansas wide receiver Jarius Wright.

While many people may have expected the Vikings to take a bigger wide receiver at this point in the draft, the Vikings still have plenty of picks available with which to potentially fill that need.

In the 5'9 1'2", 180-pound Wright, the Vikings have picked up a slot threat similar to a guy they already have in Percy Harvin. He's not the biggest guy, obviously, but he does have very good speed and has the ability to create yards after the catch. He operates quite well in the middle of the field for a player his size, and the Vikings could potentially use him in the same role as Harvin. They could even turn him into a return specialist, given his ability to create in the open field.

Not an expected pick for the Minnesota Vikings at this point in the proceedings, but still a pretty solid pick in this writer's opinion.


2012 NFL Draft: Minnesota Vikings Select Arkansas WR Jarius Wright

The Minnesota Vikings have made their first selection in the fourth round of the 2012 NFL Draft, and once again they've filled a position of need and placed a premium on speed.

The Vikings tabbed Arkansas wide receiver Jarius Wright with the 118th overall selection, giving them another pass-catching threat for quarterback Christian Ponder. Wright isn't a terribly big guy, measuring in at about 5'9 1/2" and 180 pounds, but he is very fast, being timed in the 40-yard dash in under 4.4 seconds.

For the Razorbacks in 2012, Wright caught 66 passes for 1,117 yards and 12 scoring catches. For a smaller player, Wright is pretty good going over the middle of the field, and could potentially figure in as a return man for the Vikings, although he didn't do a whole lot of that at Arkansas.

The Vikings have four of the next 18 selections coming up, so the action will continue fast and furious for Minnesota. We'll have coverage of all the picks here at SB Nation Minnesota.


2012 NFL Draft: Vikings Have Busy Fourth Round On Tap

The NFL Draft rolls along Saturday with Rounds 4 through 7, each of which will air on ESPN starting at noon Eastern.

The Minnesota Vikings' docket of fourth-round picks has been shuffled around a bit. The Vikes were slated to have Saturday's third pick (No. 98 overall), but they traded that to the Baltimore Ravens as part of the deal that landed them the No. 29 pick Thursday.

As such, Minnesota's first pick Saturday will be No. 23 in the fourth round (No. 118 overall), a selection that was picked up from the Atlanta Falcons through the Cleveland Browns.

That is the first of three fourth-round picks for the Vikings. They will also have two compensatory fourth-round picks: No. 33 (128 overall) and No. 39 (134 overall).

There is a maximum of five minutes between picks all day Saturday.

2012 NFL Draft Start Time: Noon ET, Saturday, April 28


For more on the Minnesota Vikings, go to Daily Norseman. You can also get all of your professional football news over at SB Nation's NFL hub, or check out SB Nation's YouTube channel:


NFL Draft 2012: Start Time, TV Schedule And More For Saturday's Draft Coverage

The 2012 NFL Draft continued on Friday night with the second and third rounds of the draft. The Minnesota Vikings selected cornerback Josh Robinson out of Central Florida with the 66th overall pick. Robinson was the only pick of the night for the Vikings, so Friday was much more calm than Thursday when the Vikings dealt their second round pick to move up to grab Harrison Smith.

Minnesota will be busy on Saturday with nine picks remaining in rounds four through seven including three fourth round picks, two fifth round picks and three seventh round picks.

Television coverage of the rounds four through seven is scheduled to begin at 12:00 p.m. on both ESPN and the NFL Network. The Vikings have plenty of needs to fill and with so many picks coming on Saturday they will have a chance to address several different areas with players that should have a good chance to make an impact.

Get even more 2012 NFL Draft coverage, scouting reports, teams needs, etc. at Mocking the Draft. For more Vikings coverage, check out Daily Norseman. Be sure to visit SB Nation's NFL hub for the broader view.

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