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Vikings Trade Percy Harvin, Invest In Young Nucleus Built Through Draft

Posted Mar 12, 2013

Coming off arguably the best draft in franchise history in 2012, the Vikings are ready for an encore in 2013. On Tuesday the team sent receiver Percy Harvin to the Seattle Seahawks in exchange for three draft choices – a 1st-rounder and 7th-rounder in 2013, and a 3rd-rounder in 2014.

The additional 1st-rounder in next April’s draft – the 25th overall selection – sets the stage for the Vikings to come away with four total 1st-round choices in the past two drafts, product of a shrewd set of moves by Vikings GM Rick Spielman as he and the rest of the organization look to build off a 10-6 season in 2012 that saw them return to the playoffs while falling just one game short of a division title.

Given Spielman’s track record in the draft during his tenure with the Vikings, Tuesday’s trade further strengthens the team’s young nucleus of talent. In 2012, the Vikings found a way to exit the 1st round with a pair of selections – LT Matt Kalil (4th overall) and S Harrison Smith (29th overall). Those two anchored a strong draft class that also included 3rd-round CB Josh Robinson, 4th-rounders WR Jarius Wright and TE Rhett Ellison, 5th-rounder Robert Blanton and 6th-round Pro Bowl kicker Blair Walsh. Add in 4th-round WR Greg Childs and 7th-round LB Audie Cole, and 9 of the Vikings 10 draft picks from 2012 remain on the roster.

On top of that impressive class of youngsters, the Vikings also feature several other up-and-comers entering or in the middle of their prime. Adrian Peterson is coming off the best season of his career, a young offensive line that averages just 25.8 years of age appears set to carry continuity into the season, TE Kyle Rudolph emerged as a play-making TD machine a season ago with 9 scores, and the Vikings defense benefited from the contributions of young players such as DEs Everson Griffen and Brian Robison, CBs Chris Cook and Robinson and the safety tandem of Mistral Raymond and Jamarca Sanford.

As of Wednesday morning, the Vikings held 11 selections in the 2013 NFL Draft. That surplus of draft ammo gives the team flexibility to move up in the draft should a player they covet fall far enough, or it gives them 11 more tries to enhance the roster with talented young players. Either way, the Vikings took a huge step on the first day of the 2013 League Year toward trying to improve the roster and build upon a young nucleus of players that looks forward to playing with and for one another for seasons to come.