2014 draft picks: 1st round (8), 2(40), 3(72), 3(96), 4(108), 5(148), 6(184), 7(223)
Leslie Frazier is out as the Vikings head coach after going 5-10-1 in 2013. Mike Zimmer takes over the reins in Minnesota and he has assembled a solid coaching staff, led by Norv Turner (offensive coordinator) and George Edwards (defensive coordinator).
They, along with General Manager Rick Spielman, will be looking to find a quarterback of the future and to fill some holes in the defense. Gone from the roster is defensive end Jared Allen. The Vikings did pick up a good defensive tackle in Linval Joseph.
As things stand right now, Minnesota has eight picks in next week's NFL Draft. Remember, this isn't a team afraid to move around, especially in the first round. Spielman has shown himself to be very aggressive with the players he covets, especially early.
1. Outside Linebacker
The Vikings covet Anthony Barr and he could very well be the play with their first selection. Zimmer and company is looking for an athletic outside linebacker that can get after the quarterback from the edge. With Mack likely gone, it would set up nicely for Barr and Minnesota, if they choose to go that route. If not, this position has to be filled at some point in the draft. They will be a base 4-3 defense but will at times go with a three man front. That is why the Vikings are so intrigued by guys like Mack and Barr.
It's good to have Matt Cassell on the roster. He's a solid veteran and quality backup. But he is not the long term answer in Minnesota. Christian Ponder has had his opportunities. It's time with this draft the Vikings strike and land a quarterback. The question is at what point of the draft? With their first round selection or second? Or do they go best available with their No. 8 pick and then move back in the first round to grab their guy? They have been an active team in previous drafts. Blake Bortles, Derek Carr, Teddy Bridgewater, Johnny Manziel, and Zach Mettenberger are the names to watch. Bortles and Manziel could possibly be gone by the time they pick at their first spot. This is one of the more interesting teams to watch next Thursday.
3. Inside Linebacker
The Vikings need to also land a quarterback for their defense at middle linebacker. I think No. 9 may be a tad high for C.J. Mosley. Could Minnesota trade back to try and land this former Crimson Tide standout? Anything is possible. Either way the Vikings have to fill this position of need.
4. Running Back
This is another position of need simply because you have to spell Adrian Peterson once in a while and Toby Gerhart is no longer on the roster.
Lestar Jean (WR)
Allen Reisner (TE)
Vladimir Ducasse (OG)
Corey Wootton (DE)
Linval Joseph (DT)
Tom Johnson (DT)
Jasper Brinkley (MLB)
Kurt Coleman (S)
Captain Munnerlyn (CB)
Derek Cox (CB)