Vikings bulk up defense with first round picksThe Minnesota Vikings have taken Florida defensive tackle Shariff Floyd with the 23rd overall pick in the NFL draft and Florida State defensive back Xavier Rhodes with the 25th pick.
By: Jon Krawczynski, Associated Press
The Minnesota Vikings have taken Florida defensive tackle Shariff Floyd with the 23rd overall pick in the NFL draft and Florida State cornerback Xavier Rhodes with the 25th pick.
Floyd had 13 tackles for loss and 6½ sacks for the Gators as a junior last season. He was initially projected to go in the top 10 of Thursday night's first round, but tumbled to No. 23. The Vikings have a history of taking Gators who tumbled after scoring big with receiver Percy Harvin in 2009.
Rhodes had four interceptions and 12 pass breakups as a junior last season and gives the Vikings some much-needed size at cornerback in a division that features receivers Calvin Johnson and Brandon Marshall.
Rhodes will help the Vikings overcome the loss of veteran Antoine Winfield, who signed with Seattle after being released in the offseason.
The Vikings surprised some by passing on Notre Dame linebacker Manti Te'o, who was available as well.
The Vikings have a need for depth at defensive tackle with Kevin Williams aging. He is 6-foot-2 and 297 pounds and will get a chance to learn from one of the best defensive linemen in franchise history as a rookie.