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Minnesota Vikings could have five rookie starters in 2013

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07:27 PM ET 04.28 | The Minnesota Vikings may start as many as five new rookies during the 2013 season. The Vikings are not afraid to throw rookies into the fire, as seen in 2012 when they started five rookies: left tackle Matt Kalil (16 games), safety Harrison Smith (16 games), kicker Blair Walsh (16 games), cornerback Josh Robinson (six games), and Jarius Wright (one game). First-round picks defensive tackle Sharrif Floyd, cornerback Xavier Rhodes and wide receiver Cordarrelle Patterson are expected to contribute right away based on depth at their respected positions. Linebacker Gerald Hodges, a fourth-round pick from Penn St., comes from a school well known for producing NFL-ready linebackers. Depending on how fellow Penn St. linebacker Michael Mauti does in his recovery from a torn ACL, he may see some time at middle linebacker this season as well, but it is less likely. Last but not least, fifth-round draft pick punter Jeff Locke could replace Chris Kluwe, much like how Walsh replaced Ryan Longwell last season.

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Xavier Rhodes, AP Photo/Tomasso DeRosa Xavier Rhodes, AP Photo/Tomasso DeRosa
 
April 29, 2013  08:55 PM ET

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