The Minnesota Vikings have several priorities that need to be addressed this off-season, whether it's through free agency or the NFL Draft. What should be their top priority? Well, let's take a look at some of the places that the Vikings could focus their attention.
Wide Receiver - With Percy Harvin, this unit still ranks in the bottom quarter of the league, talent-wise, in my opinion. Without Percy Harvin? We got a good look at that in the final seven games of the regular season and the wild-card round of the playoffs. When Troy Aikman refers to you as "the worst group of wide receivers he's ever seen," it means a little something. At this point, we're not even sure if Percy Harvin is going to be a member of the Minnesota Vikings in 2013. At least one person that follows the Vikings fairly closely doesn't think he will be.
@pakfanvikes Honestly, I think Percy has played his last game in MN. If you can't get along with Les, you can't get along with anybody.— Judd Zulgad (@1500ESPNJudd) January 11, 2013
If Percy Harvin has, in fact, played his last game as a member of the Minnesota Vikings. . .and I truly hope that he hasn't. . .then I think this immediately shoots to the top of the priority list, if it isn't there already.
Guard - I think the Vikings could do worse than to bring Phil Loadholt back and continue to bookend him with Matt Kalil at the tackle spots, and John Sullivan is one of the NFL's best centers. The guard spots, though, were a bit of a weakness last season. Geoff Schwartz started out a bit behind the power curve after an injury in training camp last year, and Brandon Fusco and Charlie Johnson each had their issues at times. If the Vikings are going to be a run-focused team. . .and, with Adrian Peterson in play, that's probably a smart move. . .they could use a real mauler or two to plug into the guard spots.
Defensive Tackle - Kevin Williams, while still a very good player, isn't getting any younger. He's been in the NFL for ten seasons, and has a two-year option (at a pretty hefty price tag) that the Vikings have to think about this off-season. If Williams does go, the team could always look at putting Fred Evans or Letroy Guion into his spot and attempt to find a big, Pat Williams-style plugger for the middle of the line. The run defense has gotten a little weaker since #94 left town, and a big man in the middle of the defensive line would do a lot to help cure that ill.
Linebacker - Yes, Chad Greenway is still here and still very good. The Vikings' other two starting linebackers from this season, Erin Henderson and Jasper Brinkley, are free agents. Have either of them done enough to be brought back, likely at an increased salary? I'm not so sure. . .this could be a place that the Vikings look to in the draft, particularly if they want to get a guy they could plug into the middle of this 4-3 defense and let him be awesome for about a decade, Urlacher style.
Cornerback - Chris Cook is coming into the final year of his contract, and Antoine Winfield is no spring chicken. Yes, Josh Robinson showed plenty of promise in his rookie campaign, but in today's NFL, there's no such thing as "too much depth" at the cornerback position. I don't know if this has to be a high priority for the Vikings. . .it certainly ranks behind at least wide receiver and linebacker, in my opinion. . .but I don't think it can be ignored, either.
Backup Quarterback - This team can't go into 2013 with Joe Webb as the top option behind Christian Ponder. Period. I don't think anyone can rationally argue otherwise at this point. (Yes, I know. . .that won't stop people from trying.)
What do you think, folks? What do you think the Minnesota Vikings' top off-season priority should be?