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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 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.

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