The Minnesota Vikings had a very disappointing 2011 season, finishing 3-13 and last place in the NFC North. Their poor performance landed them the 3rd overall pick in the 2012 draft. They have a lot of needs to fill before the 2012 season starts. Let’s see where the Vikings need help the most.
It’s almost certain that the Indianapolis Colts and Washington Redskins are going to take quarterbacks Andrew Luck and Robert Griffin III, respectively, with the first two picks in the draft. That puts the Vikings on the clock. The Vikings have an assortment of needs and positions that they need to solidify and they have ten picks in this year’s draft. Here is what they lack:
Play-makers – The Vikings are in need of another play-maker or two. If they were to draft Oklahoma State wide receiver Justin Blackmon, that would give the Vikings another threat to go along with Percy Harvin, Kyle Rudolph and John Carlson. The Vikings lack a second wide-out and Blackmon would certainly be another play-maker on the outside.
Protection – A lot of draft boards have the Vikings selecting University of Southern California’s offensive tackled Ryan Kalil. Kalil would help solidify an offensive line that gave up way too many sacks last season and would also help protect Ponder, who seems to be the quarterback of the future for the time being. Kalil would certainly be the left tackle for the next ten years if the Vikings were to draft him.
Defense – The Vikings had one of the worst secondaries in the league last season. Even Tim Tebow threw for over 300 yards against them. They helped stabilize one corner position by signing former Baltimore Ravens cornerback Chris Carr. But scouts also have the Vikings taking a hard look at Louisiana State’s Morris Claiborne. Claiborne is projected to be a very good cornerback, but the Vikings are also eyeing Janoris Jenkins, who will more than likely be a second or third-round pick.
Those are the three gaping-holes that the Vikings need to fill in the draft. If they end up taking Kalil, then look for them to draft South Carolina’s Alshon Jeffery in the second-round or Jenkins.
There is also the possibility of the Vikings trading back to acquire more picks, but if they feel that Kalil is going to be as good as advertised, look for them to take him and go from there.