Free Agency or Draft: How should the Vikings fill their needs in 2021?

(Photo by Mark Brown/Getty Images) Gregory Rousseau
(Photo by Mark Brown/Getty Images) Gregory Rousseau /
1 of 6
Minnesota Vikings
(Photo by Hannah Foslien/Getty Images) /

How will the Minnesota Vikings choose to fill some of their biggest needs?

Last season, the Minnesota Vikings finished with a losing record, which earned them the No. 14 pick in the 2021 NFL Draft.

The biggest reason for this dismal season was the failure of Minnesota’s defense. The Vikings couldn’t generate much pressure and opposing quarterbacks had all day long to scan the field to find an open man. It didn’t matter if they tried coming from the edge or up the “A” gap, Minnesota’s lack of a pass rush in 2020 killed this once-proud defense.

The time allotted to opposing passers was a nightmare scenario for the Vikings’ young group of cornerbacks last season. These guys were already learning on the fly and the fact they were asked to cover these receivers for 10 seconds or longer just wasn’t fair to their development. Minnesota’s linebacker corps was also plagued by injuries, making the team weak on every level of the defense in 2020.

While the Vikings’ offense was fourth in the NFL last year in total yards per game, the interior of the line needs a major upgrade. The team has to find a new starting left guard, figure out who will be replacing Riley Reiff at left tackle, and improve the depth of their offensive line.

Minnesota has some work to do and they really have to figure it out this offseason if Mike Zimmer is going to keep his job as the head coach past the 2021 campaign.

This means the Vikings will likely need to find players who can make an immediate impact this season. Some of their current needs will be better addressed in free agency while others should be upgraded through the draft. Which paths should Minnesota take to fill some of their top needs this year?