The Minnesota Vikings only had one first round draft pick in the 2015 NFL Draft, but they made it count by selecting Michigan State cornerback Trae Waynes at #11 overall. Cornerback was a huge need for the team as they were currently looking at a competition for the spot. Now, the Vikings can team Waynes up with Rhodes and hopefully create a formidable duo in the secondary.
Apr 30, 2015; Chicago, IL, USA; Trae Waynes (Michigan State) poses for a photo after being selected as the number 11th overall pick to the Minnesota Vikings in the first round of the 2015 NFL Draft at the Auditorium Theatre of Roosevelt University. Mandatory Credit: Dennis Wierzbicki-USA TODAY Sports
But what’s next for the Minnesota Vikings? What other needs do they have to address in the 2015 NFL Draft’s second to seventh rounds in order to help them become playoff contenders?
Let’s take a look at the top 5 team needs that the Minnesota Vikings had according to NFL.com’s list prior to the 2015 NFL draft and discuss how big of a problem the team currently has at those spots:
- Personally, I don’t see offensive tackle as a huge need. I think that the Vikings need to see what they can get from Matt Kalil this season and then make a decision on him following the 2015 NFL season. He’s had his ups and downs, but hopefully he can return to his former self and play at a high level. Nothing is needed with right tackle Phil Loadholt, as he’s one of the most punishing run blockers in the league. However, a mid to late round pick to bring in competition at this spot might be in order.
- While a thumping middle linebacker would be nice, there are some young players that could compete for this spot without using an early draft pick. Guys like Audie Cole and Michael Mauti can compete with the free agent acquisition of Casey Matthews for that starting job. If the team misses out on one of the top-tier players for the mike, they should still be okay. Anthony Barr should be inked in as the starter on one side with Chad Greenway returning for another season and hopefully competing with Gerald Hodges for the job on the other side. Linebacker should be addressed if it is the best player available without reaching.
- The Minnesota Vikings already addressed this need by selecting Trae Waynes with the #11 pick in the first round. The team also brought in veteran cornerback Terence Newman and still have Xavier Rhodes, Captain Munnerlyn, Josh Robinson, Marcus Sherels and others for depth. I consider this position fairly well taken care of for now.
- Brandon Fusco should be the starter on the right side, but the opposite side could use some major help. While I personally am a big fan of Joe Berger, he is likely best used in a backup/rotational role and there isn’t much evidence that David Yankey is ready to take on a starting role. I expect a day 2 draft pick to be used on a guard.
- I have to admit that I don’t really see the need here. The starters should and likely will be Sharrif Floyd and Linval Joseph. Past that, the team signed Tom Johnson back and have other young guys on the roster with some potential. If a high potential defensive tackle falls into the right spot for the Vikings, I’d expect them to pull the trigger.
Dec 7, 2014; Minneapolis, MN, USA; Minnesota Vikings safety Harrison Smith (22) celebrates with defensive end Brian Robison (96) during the first quarter against the New York Jets at TCF Bank Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Brace Hemmelgarn-USA TODAY Sports
One need that wasn’t mentioned in the NFL.com article was pass rusher. Personally, I’d love to see the Minnesota Vikings bring in competition for Brian Robison as well as have someone to groom for eventually taking over a starting position. With the slide of some pass rushers in the first round, it wouldn’t surprise me if the best player available on the Vikings big board is a defensive end.
In addition, I could see the Vikings drafting a safety if a player like Landon Collins is available when they are on the clock.
Some fans believe that wide receiver is a big need for the Minnesota Vikings, but I’m not so sure. I think the team really respects Charles Johnson enough to believe he can start opposite Mike Wallace. Plus, they would have a fallback if Cordarrelle Patterson can show the kind of improvement that we’ve been hearing about. Add in young, talented guys like Jarius Wright and Adam Thielen, and I’m not sure there’s a lot of room for another pass catcher on this team.
What do you guys think? Which positions do you think are the biggest needs for the Vikings going into the second round of the draft? Let me know in the comments below. And, as always, SKOL VIKINGS.
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