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The Bigg Dawg asks Viking fans: Which Rookie makes the biggest difference in 2013?

English-Bulldog-1-NGLBY2DI5J-1024x768-300x225The Bigg Dawg would really like to hear from as many Viking (or non-Viking fans for that matter) on the subject of just which rookie player will have the most significant impact on the 2013 team.  Will it be Shariff Floyd ? Or Xavier Rhodes? Maybe Cordarrelle Patterson gets the nod.  Or perhaps one of the later picks like LB’s Michael Mauti or Gerald Hodges?  How about one of the new offensive guards like Jeff Baca or Travis Bond ? Or will it be one of the rookie free agents?

Whoever you choose, I want to hear from you.

Now…….. Shariff Floyd reminds me of Warren Sapp (Nice job guys selecting Derrick  Alexander over him with the 15th pick in 1995). ** Just give me a nice paper cut then pour lemon juice on it!

Patterson has a chance to be special in time as well. But………………….

I’m hedging my bets by choosing two players based upon need and opportunity.  As I see it, Xavier Rhodes and Gerald Hodges could be impact players simply because these are the two players that I see as having the best chance to start and get significant playing time. Rhodes could be a starter opposite Chris Cook, If not from the outset, then by week 5 at least. His play at press corner has pro bowl potential written all over it. He fits the team’s philosophy of big physical play from the corner position.  I watched this guy play at Florida State and had him rated as the best corner in the draft. I thought the team was going to have to move up inside the top 12 to get their hands on him. When he fell into their laps at number 23, I felt the team might grab him. My concern peaked when the team selected Shariff Floyd (the correct pick, incidentally) instead.  (When they made the pick at 25, the Dawg was elated.  The feeling here is that this guy is going to be an absolute shutdown corner, taking away half of the field for the next ten years. The only issues that I see is that Rhodes has some cover 2 recognition problems, doesn’t look comfortable when facing the QB in zone coverage, and only has good but not elite deep speed. I feel these issues are minor and based simply on the fact that the Seminoles were predominantly a press cover team.  He possesses the raw skills, speed and quick twitch reflexes to give the coaching staff a chance to “Coach him up to speed” by mid-season.  Xavier Rhodes

As for Hodges, the Vikings NEED him to be “The Man” at outside linebacker. Hodges has the necessary skill set, short area quickness and size (6’2″ 237 lbs.) to become in time a superb SAM backer. He has good speed (4.7  40 yds), moves well laterally and finds and attacks the ball carrier like he’s running downhill. Seriously, this guy is a model citizen from linebacker University (Penn State) and above all, he can play! He has playmaking potential, brings the lumber and causes that most valuable defensive commodity………………….. Turnovers!




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4 Responses to “The Bigg Dawg asks Viking fans: Which Rookie makes the biggest difference in 2013?”

  1. Chaz's the Viking says:

    I love Rhodes and think he will have the biggest impact from the rookies and agree Hodges isn’t far behind and I want to give Locke an honorable mention cause the kid is going to be a weapon for us.

  2. cboynton says:

    Good Point, Chaz ! Thanks for writing ! – Dawgg

  3. purplereign57 says:

    Chaz, I hope you’re right about Locke. Kluwe may have not been the greatest punter of all time, but he was considerably better than average. The numbers prove it. The buzz on Locke says he’s brutal with that left leg. Hope so.
    Man, it us REALLY TOUGH predicting who will be the biggest impact rookie. That’s predicting the future. IF Sharif Floyd gets some actual playing time, I’ve got a feeling that he’s gonna be a beast at that nose spot. Rhodes MAY end up a starter, because the talent Minnesota possesses at corner right now, can easily have their jobs taken from them in the blink of an eye (especially by a young stud rookie showing flashes of brilliance.) Rhodes has the tools. With the right coaching, teaching and learning, Xavier will work out fine. And the most significant thing is …IF he has a season this year like Harrison Smith had last year, then we”ll have one of the most feared safeties and corners in the league.WHAT A WELCOME CHANGE THAT WOULD BE, HUH?
    But, all of that notwithstanding, IMHO, I think the biggest impact rookie will be Cordarrelle Patterson. His elusivness, relative big body (Harvin was much smaller), and very deceptive speed (he has the ability to “change gears”). I believe that we will see some highlight reel stuff from CP on punt and kickoff returns this coming season. AND JUST MAYBE, there might be some unforgettable stuff with Cordarrelle playing

  4. Matt n Texas says:

    my thought is that you have a greater probability of making an impact the more time you see on the field. With that said it seems to eliminate all but Rhodes, Hodges, Patterson and Locke from contention. I’d also say to show a noticeable impact you must out perform the person who was at your position the previous year. I think it will be tough sledding for Locke as Kluwe was pretty good. Rhodes will have to outperform Winfield/Robinson who combined had a very very good campaign. Won’t be easy going up against the stable of QBs/WRs that he will see this season. Opportunities will be there but I don’t think he becomes the elite corner we hope for another year or two. That leaves me with Patterson or Hodges. Both should be improvements, assuming they start by week 3, over Simpson/Henderson. Being that Simpson brought NOTHING to the table I think we will see the most impact from Patterson. Hopefully the Vikes use him as the Falcons use J.Jones. A reverse or two per game coupled with some mid/deep tosses and KO return duties should put him in a position to make a play or two a game.

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