It’s day 31 of Draftmas and the Vikings are on the clock.
The Minnesota Vikings had a lot to deal with last season, as Teddy Bridgewater went down with a knee injury right before the start of the season. Sam Bradford was acquired and competed admirably, but Minnesota failed to make the playoffs at 8-8.
With Bradford and Bridgewater, the Vikings have two solid, but not great quarterbacks. If Bridgewater isn’t ready to go following the injury, Bradford will start until a competition can get underway. Adrian Peterson was not re-signed and is now a free agent, while Latavius Murray was signed to replace him. Stefon Diggs is a good young receiver, but last year rookie Laquon Treadwell didn’t see the field much and didn’t play all that well when he was on it. Minnesota does have a good tight end in Kyle Rudolph.
The offensive line still needs to be addressed and was a major issue last year. Mike Remmers and Riley Reiff were signed to start at the tackle spots, but both had bad seasons last year. The Vikings will likely target a few offensive linemen in this draft.
Defense was the Vikings forte last season. They gave up the third fewest passing yards and were average stopping the run. The defense does have a few things to address this offseason.
Sharrif Floyd had complications with his recovery from knee surgery, which could be career ending. That leaves the Vikings thin on the interior of the defensive line. Danielle Hunter and Everson Griffin both had good years at defensive end.
Anthony Barr did not play well last year, but should be able to bounce back to good form. Eric Kendricks had a solid second season, but they might need some depth behind those two. Xavier Rhodes and Trae Waynes are both young corners who still need growth. Harrison Smith is one of the best safeties in the game, but needs a partner in crime at the safety position.
Picks and Needs
The Vikings have eight picks in the 2017 NFL Draft, but none in the first round.
First round: (0)
Second round: (1) No. 48
Third round: (2) No. 79, 86
Fourth round: (2) No. 121, 129
Fifth round: (1) No. 160
Sixth round: (1) No. 199
Seventh round: (1) No. 232
These needs are in no particular order.
Offensive Line- There is a pressing need for offensive line help and signing veterans who aren’t great, will only go so far.
Safety- They will likely just get depth at this position to start.
Targets and Thoughts
The picks here are who the Vikings could realistically get where they are drafting. There will be no trades.
Pick #48: Dan Feeney, G, Indiana
Feeney is a physical guard that can help get the Vikings ground game going. They could go with a tackle here too, but there may not be any worth taking at this spot.
Pick #79: Carlos Watkins, DT, Clemson
With the Floyd injury, the Vikings need to get at least one defensive tackle in this class. Watkins is good at stopping the run, but was Clemson’s best interior pass rusher last season.
Pick #86: Semaj Perine, RB, Oklahoma
Perine is a power back that can be a nice compliment to Murray. He set the single game rushing record for division I college football during his time in Norman.
The Vikings have more needs than originally anticipated, but if they get the right players in this draft, they can find themselves back in the playoffs.
You can read all of the previous days of Draftmas here!
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