Path to the Draft – Minnesota Vikings
Two pals of mine from Sporting News, Cowboy92 and All4LSU, are putting together a NFL Draft Preview. They gathered up fans from each NFL team to share their thoughts on their team’s direction. Somebody filled my Patriots spot before I had a chance to, but having lived in Minnesota the past decade, I figured I could break down the Vikings.
2009 NFL Draft Picks:
Round 1, Round 2. Round 3, Round 5, Round 7 – two picks
With their first pick (22nd overall) the Vikings will likely focus on a Cornerback as Antoine Winfield will turn 32 this summer. Their Pass D improved last year as Jared Allen shortened the coverage time for the DBs. They could use another talented corner though to take the next step. There should be plenty of quality choices at this point in the draft. Illinois’ Vontae Davis, Ohio State’s Malcolm Jenkins, or Vanderbilt’s D.J. Moore are the likely selections here.
In the second round (54th overall) I see the Vikings addressing their needs on the Offensive Line. They really could use an upgrade at Right Tackle as Ryan Cook is more suited for a backup role. Plus, Cook could be in competition to replace Matt Birk at Center. Arizona’s Eben Britton, Oregon’s Fenuki Tupou, or Oklahoma’s Phil Loadholt are the most likely targets.
In round three (86th overall) the Vikings will look for help on their Defensive Line. They are pretty set at Defensive End, but could use some help at Defensive Tackle. Kevin Williams and Pat Williams both face possible four-game suspensions next year, and Pat will turn 37 early in the season. Purdue’s Alex Magee or Clemson’s Dorell Scott could be the likely targets.
Other areas of need for the Vikings are Wide Receiver, Center, and Safety. Bernard Berrian is solid and Bobby Wade is a good slot receiver, but Sidney Rice hasn’t shown his capable of being a #2 WR yet. Center Matt Birk signed with Baltimore. John Sullivan and Ryan Cook will likely compete for the starting job. Either way, they will need to add some depth at the position. Finally, Darren Sharper is gone so they’ll need to add depth at Safety. Tyrell Johnson, who played an increase role when Madieu Williams was out, will likely slide into the starting role, but they’ll need another Safety behind him.