Pre-Draft Team Needs: Minnesota Vikings

The Minnesota Vikings addressed some obvious needs in free agency but they have others that must be addressed in the draft.

Players Added

Maurice Hicks/RB - He'll return kicks and handle the No. 3 role at running back.

Thomas Tapeh/FB - He'll replace Tony Richardson as the starter at this position. Tapeh is more athletic than Richardson but isn't anywhere near the accomplished blocker that Richardson is.

Bernard Berrian/WR - He'll give their passing game a vertical stretch element which has been missing for a while.

Ellis Wyms/DT - He can play tackle or end but likely will see his most playing time at tackle.

Derrick Pope/LB - He'll prove to be one of their better backups on defense.

Madieu Williams/S - The former Cincinnati Bengal will take over for Dwight Smith. Williams has better range and athleticism.

Michael Boulware/S - His once promising career with the Seattle Seahawks took a U-turn the last few seasons. He'll compete for a backup role with Minnesota.

Benny Sapp/CB - He'll compete for a role in their nickel or dime defense and will play on special teams.

Players Lost

Kelly Holcomb/QB - The journeyman signal caller was cut and remains unsigned. Gus Frerotte was signed to replace him.

Mewelde Moore/RB - He failed to win a significant job under two coaching staffs. He'll vie for change of pace role with the Pittsburgh Steelers and also return kicks or punts.

Tony Richardson/FB - The veteran fullback surprisingly wasn't a priority to re-sign. Instead, the Vikings signed FB Thomas Tapeh who isn't seen as good of blocker as Richardson who signed with the New York Jets.

Troy Williamson/WR - He was traded to the Jacksonville Jaguars where he'll get a chance to revive his career.

Spencer Johnson/DT - He signed with the Buffalo Bills where he's slated to be one of their top backups at the position.

Darrion Scott/DE - The team still hasn't offered him a deal and he's only had one free agent visit.

Dontarrious Thomas/LB - As of now, the versatile linebacker will have a chance to compete for a starting job inside with the San Francisco 49ers.

Dwight Smith/S - The team seemingly got tired of his off the field behavior and cut him. But Smith found another home this time with the Detroit Lions, with his former defensive coordinator with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, Rod Marinelli.

Tank Williams/S - He's had a few serious knee injuries but has been able to bounce back to find a backup job the past few seasons (he's now with the New England Patriots).

Mike Doss/S - He only played in eight games for Minnesota last season and his once solid career has taken a big downswing.

Pre-Draft Team Needs

1) Defensive End - The team lacks a quality pass rusher from this position and it's clear that getting at least two ends out of this year's draft has to be a priority.

2) Strong Safety - Starter Darren Sharper is nearing the end of a stellar career and he's also on the final year of his contract.

3) Center - With starter Matt Birk's deal set to expire after 2008, the team must find his replacement sooner rather than later.

Other Issues to Address

Wide Receiver Depth

Offensive Line Depth

Quarterback Depth

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