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2013 NFL Mock Draft: Vikings to bolster defense in first round?

Could the Minnesota Vikings look to bolster their aging defensive line in the first round of the 2013 NFL Draft?

Chuck Cook-USA TODAY Sports

The Minnesota Vikings came a long way in a very short time this past season, making the playoffs after having a top three pick in the 2012 NFL Draft. They hope to be counted among the NFL's elite, but they won't have another high draft pick to help them make the next jump.

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They're picking at No. 23 this time around, but there promises to be some great players available, either way. Putting it into perspective, the Vikings have a shot at getting one of the top 23 players in the entire nation. Still though, it's a far cry from a top three pick.

Matthew Fairburn and Dan Kadar collaborated on the latest SB Nation mock draft on Monday, and they have the Vikings addressing a need on defense in the first round. They have Minnesota taking Sharrif Floyd, the defensive tackle out of Florida:

The Vikings are by no means desperate at defensive tackle, but the team would benefit from some pass rushing ability on the interior. Sharrif Floyd probably won't fall this far on draft day, but if he does, the Vikings will be tempted. He's a player with violent hands and the quickness to penetrate into the backfield.

As noted, the Vikings don't have a huge need on the defensive line, but after investing in their offense in recent years, the defense is hurting for some big-name playmakers, especially given the age of some of their starters.

Floyd will likely be gone before this pick, but if he's there, the Vikings could employ the "best player available" strategy and get Floyd a ticket to Minnesota. It's likely he'd be an immediate starter and impact player on that line.

Photographs by Micah Taylor, clairity, and Fibonacci Blue used in background montage under Creative Commons. Thank you.