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The Minnesota Vikings Should Start Using Their First-Round Draft Picks

In the Team's First Two Games Their Impressive Crop of First-round Talent from Last April Has Seen Plenty of Time from the Bench

Yahoo Contributor Network

COMMENTARY | In last April's NFL draft, many were impressed by the aggressiveness of Minnesota Vikings general manager Rick Spielman. He made a pair of trades that helped the team acquire a pair of first-round picks to fill several glaring needs.

The haul was so impressive that Viking fans were drooling over their potential all summer long. Shariff Floyd was going to help give the defensive line another powerful force.

Xavier Rhodes was going to be a big, physical cornerback that could make up for losing Antoine Winfield and stand toe to toe with the strong receivers in the NFC North.

Then, the Vikings traded up at the end of the first round to take Cordarrelle Patterson to help bolster their receiving corps.

Two weeks into the season, a lot of that excitement has been tempered as the Vikings have left them on the bench during an 0-2 start.

Nobody will know the real reason why the sight of a Vikings first-round pick taking the field is the same as seeing Bigfoot, but with a team that has seen it's share of difficulty to begin the year, it's time to let the kids play.

As I mentioned before, Patterson is an absolute freak that can help the meager Viking offense get going. He made an impact in the Week 2 game against the Chicago Bears by taking the opening kickoff to the house. He got in for a couple of screen passes during the second half, but offensive coordinator Bill Musgrave decided that Jerome Simpson was a better option.

The Vikings also could have used Rhodes against the powerful Brandon Marshall. While he saw limited action in Week 1 against Detroit's Calvin Johnson, his physical style of play would have been a great counter to one of the most physical receivers in the game. Instead, they decided to let Marshall have himself a day with seven catches for 113 yards and a touchdown.

Floyd may be the only rookie that makes sense splitting time because he plays the same position as one of the best defensive tackles in the league, Kevin Williams. However, they could use Floyd's ability to create more pressure on the quarterback. While Jay Cutler was baited into a pair of interceptions, he had the time to bake cookies in the pocket and shred the Vikings' secondary.

It's a tradition for a team to let their veterans play before some rookie earns the right for their starting spot. However, an 0-2 start means that adjustments need to be made. If the rookies can come in and make this team better, head coach Leslie Frazier needs to kick tradition to the curb and put his young studs in the game.

Chris Schad is a lifelong Vikings follower that has seen triumph and heartbreak for the franchise over 27 seasons. His work has also been published on Bleacher Report and Pro Football Spot. You can follow him on Twitter @crishad.

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