The Free Press, Mankato, MN

Sports

July 26, 2013

First-round draft picks all signed, at camp on time

MANKATO — On Wednesday, the Minnesota Vikings' three first-round draft choices all were unsigned.

Even though it appeared that those signings would get done Thursday so that the players could report to training camp on time, it was still a great relief for those three to begin their professional careers on Day 1.

"I couldn't sleep much last night," said receiver Cordarrelle Patterson, the 29th pick of the first round. "I had to call my mom (Thursday morning) and tell her life is going to change for me."

All of the Vikings roster was signed and at camp Thursday as the team prepares to open its 48th training camp today at Minnesota State. Rookie holdouts have become rare in the last couple of years, but coach Leslie Frazier said their was relief Thursday morning when he received a text message from general manager Rick Spielman that all of the draft choices were signed.

"It's encouraging to me and my staff that all of our guys are going to be at the team meeting (Thursday night)," Frazier said. "That's a big deal."

Defensive tackle Sharrif Floyd, the 23rd choice in Round 1, smiled when asked if the dorm accomodations were as nice at Minnesota State as they were at Florida, but he said it didn't matter.

"As long as I have my pillow and sheets," I'm all right," he said.

Cornerback Xavier Rhodes, the 25th selection, has talked with teammate Chris Cook and other NFL players and believes he knows about the demands of training camp.

"They said you're going to work hard," he said. "There will be times when you want to quit, but you have to fight through it."

Frazier said that he expects each of the first-rounders to have an impact on the season, and maybe some of the other rookies will contribute, too.

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