Just one year removed from a playoff surge thanks to MVP Adrian Peterson and his near record-setting season, the Minnesota Vikings once again find themselves picking in the top 10 of the NFL Draft.
This is a team with plenty of talent at some key positions, but the Vikings knew they needed a changing of the guard so they hired defensive wizard Mike Zimmer from the Cincinnati Bengals.
Zimmer’s ability to be a head coach is uncertain at this point, but he managed to bring in Norv Turner as the offensive coordinator for the Vikings and this team figures to make some significant strides in the next year. If the Vikings can get some stability at the quarterback position, this is a team that could contend in the NFC North.
- LB Erin Henderson (released)
- TE John Carlson (released, Cardinals)
- DT Letroy Guion (released, Packers)
- RB Toby Gerhart (UFA Jaguars)
- CB Chris Cook (UFA 49ers)
- QB/WR Joe Webb (UFA Panthers)
- CB/RS Marcus Sherels (re-signed)
- QB Matt Cassel (re-signed)
- LB Jasper Brinkley (Cardinals)
- DE Everson Griffen (re-signed)
- C Joe Berger (re-signed)
- DT Linval Joseph (Giants)
- DT Fred Evans (re-signed)
- CB Derek Cox (Chargers)
- CB Captain Munnerlyn (Panthers)
- WR Jerome Simpson (re-signed)
- OG Charlie Johnson (re-signed)
- DT Tom Johnson (Saints)
- DE Corey Wootton (Bears)
- OG Vlad Ducasse (Jets)
Vikings Team Needs
Neither Christian Ponder nor Matt Cassel are the long term answer for the Vikings. If they don’t go QB early in this year’s draft, I will be shocked.
2. Pass Rusher
The Vikes paid big bucks to Everson Griffen, but lost Jared Allen who has been one of the best sack artists in the league over the last however many years. With Corey Wootton also in the fold, the Vikes figure to be solid up front but could use a guy who specializes in sacking QBs.
If Harrison Smith can stay healthy, he has big time potential in Mike Zimmer’s defense. I think they could upgrade Jamarca Sanford, who hasn’t had an interception since 2011.
Chad Greenway is a stud, but there are major question marks at ILB and SLB for the Vikings going forward. Can Gerald Hodges and Michael Mauti step up? Will it be Audie Cole? Is Jasper Brinkley the answer? This is a position the Vikes could address early.
5. Backup Running Back
6. Y or Z Wide Receiver
2014 NFL Draft Picks