The Vikings season has unfortunately come to a close after going down to defending champs, the New England Patriots, in the NFC Championship game. It was a valiant effort from coach Mike Zimmer’s team who many predicted would struggle to make the playoffs at all, after losing their starting quarterback in round two.
More often than not, when a team takes such a massive hit to their roster early on, it typically means a failed season for the majority of NFL teams that don’t have the depth to cover it. That wasn’t the case for Minnesota though, with Case Keenum seizing the opportunity and producing a fantastic season that saw him complete 325 out of 481 passing, 3546 yards, 22 touchdowns, and seven interceptions.
There was a real belief among fans as well as some pundits, who thought they might complete the perfect fairytale season. Unfortunately for the purple and gold faithful, it wasn’t to be, and they will now have to look towards next season to try to find that maiden NFL title. Now, the major focus has obviously turned to the Super Bowl with New England hoping to lock up back-to-back titles. Bookmakers seem to be confident Tom Brady’s Patriots will get the job done, with William Hill having them as solid favorites at -240.
However, all three of the Viking’s quarterbacks, Keenum, Sam Bradford and Teddy Bridgewater, are heading into the free agency market in 2018. This leaves The Vikes with quite the quarterback dilemma, and it’s probably the most important thing they will need to address during the draft period. There are also a number of other positions that the team could use some reinforcements in, so let’s take a look at what else might be on their shopping list.
The Vikings will have a pick in the first three rounds but will have to skip the fourth. When the team brought in Bradford, they sacrificed their fourth-round pick to the Eagles who eventually gave it to Miami in a trade for Jay Ajayi. They will also be absent from the seventh round after handing over the pick to Seattle preseason for cornerback Tramaine Brock.
The positions that need the most attention in the offseason, apart from quarterback, are guard, defensive tackle, and cornerback. Let’s take a look at some interesting prospects that Minnesota could go for in the upcoming draft.
Mike White – Quarterback, Western Kentucky
It’s looking like a mid to late round pick for White, who has some good quality decision-making skills and decent accuracy. Even if the Vikings retain one of their quarterbacks heading to the free-trade market, the Kentucky youngster would be a solid choice as a player that they could develop for the future.
Billy Price – Offensive Guard, Ohio State
Price is a little lacking in the athletic department but is an absolute beast in the middle of the park. He would have the opportunity to line up alongside former Buckeyes teammate Pat Elfein, and the familiarity between the pair could be very positive for their offensive line.
Poona Ford – Defensive Tackle, Texas
Ford is a viable option at DT and Zimmer will like the way he is a handy pass rusher also. He’s a little smaller than what Minnesota tend to go for at just under six foot but is more than capable of providing a steady cover.
Darious Williams – Cornerback, UAB
Williams is a player that is constantly involving himself in the game. In 2017, he finished with a tidy five interceptions as well as 15 pass breakups, and the Vikings could use his ball skills on the outside.
Making sure they have their quarterback role covered is definitely top priority heading into the draft. However, filling in some of the other gaps in the roster is imperative to making a full squad, so be sure to keep an eye on these hot prospects come April.