In the draft this year, the Vikings had three first round selections. A first round draft pick should be able to play in his rookie year and and make an impact for the team. Sadly, Minnesota’s first rounders are struggling to get on the field. Here is a list of the three players and their stat lines so far:
- Sharrif Floyd (DT, #23 overall pick):5 tackles, 1.5 sacks, 1 pass defended
Floyd saw a season low 19 defensive plays against the Carolina Panthers. Although he playing a rotational role, there has to be more of an opportunity for him to get involved in the defense. In his place, the 33-year old Kevin Williams has been playing over fifty snaps per game even though coach Leslie Frazier said during preseason that he’d limit Williams to about 35 snaps per game. He’s been in on 36% of the Vikings defensive plays (136 out of 375 defensive snaps)
- Xavier Rhodes (CB, #25 overall pick): 11 tackles, 1 pass defended
He has the most plays of the three rookies, but only because he’s a part of the Vikings nickel package. An ankle sprain has caused him to miss time in last week’s game, but he’s still playing about two-thirds of the Vikings defensive plays (250 out of 375 plays). He is still behind players on the depth chart who he is clearly more talented than, and that is a shame.
- Cordarrelle Patterson (WR, #29 overall pick): 8 catches, 85 yards
Although Patterson has been effective on kick returns (12 returns for 406 yards and a touchdown), the problem has been getting him involved in the passing game. He played fewer snaps than any other wide receiver on Sunday, getting in on only 19 plays, and most of them on the final drive of the game for the Vikings. So far, he’s in on only one of every five offensive plays for the team (62 of 316 offensive plays).
The fact of the matter is that the Minnesota Vikings need to find a way to get these guys on the field more. With how much this team is struggling, they need to give these guys more opportunities to prove themselves and get more experience. They can’t shine unless they get the chance, and that is on the Vikings coaching staff to give them those chances.