Earlier this off-season, we identified five goals that the Vikings should strive for heading into the 2018 season. With the NFL Draft over, most of the major moves have come and gone. Nevertheless, the NFL never sleeps, and there is always time for improvement.
The Minnesota Vikings are one of the most complete teams in the league but could still use some additional depth on their roster. Here is an updated list of their primary needs, as well as the Vikings’ post-draft needs:
Find a Quarterback
Heading into the off-season, the Minnesota Vikings had three quarterbacks, with all of their contracts due to expire. Teddy Bridgewater, Sam Bradford, and Case Keenum are all solid starting quarterbacks, but the team decided not to re-sign any of them.
With only second-year player Kyle Sloter on the roster, the Vikings became a clear favorite for free agent quarterback Kirk Cousins. Cousins would then sign a three-year, $84 million contract with the team.
They had their guy, but the Vikings weren’t done there. General Manager Rick Spielman swung a deal with the Denver Broncos to acquire Trevor Siemian in exchange for a seventh-round pick. Siemian will provide the team with a solid backup, should Cousins get injured.
Fix the offensive line
The offensive line was easily the biggest concern for the Vikings heading into the off-season. After being one of the worst offensive lines in the NFL in 2016, they improved slightly, thanks to the addition of Pat Elflein, Mike Remmers, and Riley Reiff; however, they still have a massive hole at guard.
With longtime starter Joe Berger retiring, their need became even more desperate. The Vikings did take tackle Brian O’Neill in the second round of the NFL Draft, and he should become an immediate starter. He will likely start at right tackle, forcing Remmers to move inside at guard. This will help, but the offensive line is still the Vikings’ weakest position group.
Find a third receiver
After stellar performances by Stefon Diggs and Adam Thielen in 2017, the Vikings were unlikely to invest heavily in the wide receiver position this off-season. However, there is a massive drop-off in production after the Diggs-Thielen combo. The Vikings’ third receiver, Laquon Treadwell, only caught 20 balls for 200 yards last season.
Adding a third receiver for Kirk Cousins was needed, and they did just that. Free agent wide receiver Kendall Wright quietly signed a one-year deal with the Vikings in April. Wright was one of the Bears’ leading targets last season, catching 59 passes for 614 yards. He will fit in right away as the Vikings’ new slot receiver.
Re-sign Terence Newman
The Vikings have an incredibly deep cornerback corps, with Xavier Rhodes, Trae Waynes, and first-round pick Mike Hughes. Rhodes and Waynes will be the team’s starting corners, but Hughes will need time to develop.
Having a veteran presence at the nickel corner position would allow for more flexibility for Mike Zimmer’s play-calling, as well as giving Hughes a mentor.
Re-signing with the Vikings also makes sense for Newman. He is familiar with Zimmer’s scheme and will likely be a starter in Minnesota. Newman re-signed with the Vikings on April 30th. The deal is only for one year and is worth the veteran minimum of $1 million.
Give Linval Joseph a running mate
With names like Danielle Hunter, Everson Griffen, and Linval Joseph, the Vikings’ defensive line is one of the best in the league. Adding depth to the defensive line wasn’t the Vikings’ biggest need, but it would help bring their defense to the next level. Veteran defensive tackles Tom Johnson, Shemar Stephen, and Sharif Floyd are no longer with the team, making a hole at the position.
Minnesota filled this void with former Pro-Bowler Sheldon Richardson, who signed on a one-year, $8 million deal. In his rookie year with the New York Jets, Richardson looked like a future All-Pro, but his play quickly declined thereafter. With the amount of talent now surrounding him in Minnesota, 2018 could be a breakout year for Richardson.
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