3 Vikings needs the draft can fix and 2 needs free agency can fix in 2023

(Photo by Chris Unger/Getty Images) Xavier Hutchinson
(Photo by Chris Unger/Getty Images) Xavier Hutchinson /
6 of 6
Minnesota Vikings
Trenton Simpson (Photo by Jacob Kupferman/Getty Images) /

Plenty of linebacker value later in the draft for Minnesota

Eric Kendricks is one of the biggest veteran names on the cusp of being cut this offseason, as the defense needs a massive overhaul. Kendricks has lost some of his explosiveness over the past two years, and a key mistake late in the playoff loss to the Giants all but solidifies the need to move on and get fresh legs in the middle of the defense.

While a linebacker in the first round of the upcoming draft would be a bit of a reach, in my opinion, there is some value in it. Trenton Simpson from Clemson is likely going to be the first linebacker off the board, and for good reason. His speed and range across the middle of the field would be fun to pair with Brian Asamoah in the future, much like the Vikings did with Kendricks and Anthony Barr.

If the Vikings prefer to wait a bit in the draft, there is certainly value on Day 2 and even Day 3 of the draft. Henry To’oTo’o and Noah Sewell both can be found a little later than Simpson but have the experience and tackling ability to make a difference as rookies.

Iowa’s Jack Campbell has become a bit of a fan-favorite lately as a potential Day 2 pick as well. The player that strikes me as a steal in this draft is Cincinnati’s Ivan Pace. Pace is a smaller linebacker, but his speed and pass-rushing ability from the middle of the defense are uncanny. If he lasts into the early stages of Day 3, the Vikings should do all they can to grab him.

light. Trending. Redrafting the Vikings 2022 rookie class after the season