Vikings' first-rounders either aren't on field, or aren't good when they are


To much acclaim, hype, and excitement, the Minnesota Vikings made plenty of noise on the first day of the 2013 NFL Draft, selecting cornerback Xavier Rhodes with the 23rd overall pick, defensive tackle Sharrif Floyd with the 25th pick, and trading back up into the first round to take Tennessee wide receiver Cordarrelle Patterson 29th overall.

It was real, it was fun, but so far in this 2013 season, it has definitely not been real fun.

Rhodes has had very few season highlights in a secondary full of lowlights this year. One of Rhodes' most glaring mistakes was this past week against Brandon Lafell and the Panthers, when Josh Robinson and Rhodes weren't on the same page and combined on a blown coverage that was the 79-yard Newton-to-Lafell touchdown. Here it is, along with Rhodes getting clobbered when trying to come back after the blown coverage to make the tackle.

Not the first time Rhodes has gotten burned, and what's been worse are the penalties he's committed.

Also here's Steve Smith taking out some anger on Rhodes after a play Sunday. Plenty of chatter on Rhodes, despite him not being on the field all that often.

Floyd started in place of Kevin Williams in Week 1 and got attacked by the Lions successfully, with running back Reggie Bush putting up 191 total yards.

Since then, his snaps have been limited.

Patterson was the NFC Special Teams Player of the Month, but offensive measurables have been extremely thin, catching just eight balls in five games, and only being targeted 11 times in the first five games.

The numbers when he's on the field aren't good, but the ones when he isn't are worse, with he and Floyd ranking around the bottom of playing time among first-round picks.

A waste of first-round picks? A bunch of busts? Jumping off the bandwagon?

Hold on shooter, let's reel it in for a second.

While Rhodes has made his share of mistakes, some of the peripheral stats on the rookie corner actually show he's been one of the better situational defensive backs in all of football.

Floyd isn't needed as a big-impact guy yet, with Williams and Letroy Guion as the defensive tackles this team relies on at the moment. Floyd has ranked 51st of 70 defensive tackles according to Pro Football Focus. That's not good, but he's learning behind veterans, plenty of time to take positives from them.

Speaking of plenty of time, lets remember one thing when discussing the future of Cordarrelle Patterson: He had just one year of Division I football experience coming into the NFL, with two years spent playing at a junior college, and one at North Carolina Tech Christian Academy, where he didn't play football.

Coming out of Tennessee, Patterson was looked at as a high ceiling project that you may have to wait a few years for. Nothing has changed, and odds are, he's still learning the ins and out of the game at a high level.

For the rookies, there is still a bright future, but as expected, it might take a few years, much like the Vikings filling up the W column.

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