The Minnesota Vikings came into the 2014 NFL Draft with several needs. They addressed a couple of them in a big way in the first round of the draft with the selections of UCLA linebacker Anthony Barr and Louisville quarterback Teddy Bridgewater. The team still has the following picks remaining at the present time:
#72 overall (third round)
#96 overall (third round, from Seattle Seahawks)
#145 overall (fifth round, from Cleveland Browns)
#148 overall (fifth round)
#184 overall (sixth round)
#223 overall (seventh round)
So, what are the Vikings' biggest needs as we head into the draft's second day? Who could potentially fill those needs? Well, here's one man's opinion, using Arif's Consensus Big Board to let you know what's left at those positions.
1) Guard - The Vikings have everything in place to be very, very good on offense. . .with the exception of the gaping hole at left guard. The team brought Charlie Johnson back, but he's never really been much better than average at the position since being miscast at left tackle in 2011. Guard is one of those positions where you can (seemingly) get players later on that can step in and make an immediate impact, and if the Vikings stay with the picks they have now, I could see one of those two third-round selections going towards a guard.
Arif's Five Best Remaining Guards: Xavier Su'a-Filo - UCLA, Gabe Jackson - Mississippi State, David Yankey - Stanford, Cyril Richardson - Baylor, Brandon Thomas - Clemson (injured ACL, will likely miss 2014 season)
2) Cornerback - Even with the addition of Captain Munnerlyn to Xavier Rhodes, the Vikings could still use some more help in the defensive secondary in light of the questions about Josh Robinson and the rest of Minnesota's corners. In the NFL, and particularly in the NFC North, you can never have too many good corners. Whether they focus on slot corners or bigger guys that can play outside, the more competition at the spot for the Vikings, the better things will be.
Arif's Five Best Remaining Corners: Pierre Desir - Lindenwood, Stanley Jean-Baptiste - Nebraska, Marcus Roberson - Florida, Keith McGill - Utah, Jaylen Watkins - Florida
3) Linebacker - Yes, still. Even with the addition of Anthony Barr, the Vikings could still use some help at the position, particularly a guy that could potentially play on the inside. We don't know what the possibilities for the linebacker corps in Minnesota is next year, but like with the corners, the more the merrier.
Arif's Five Best Remaining Linebackers: Kyle Van Noy - BYU (outside), Chris Borland - Wisconsin (inside), Telvin Smith - Florida State (inside), Christian Jones - Florida State (outside), Shayne Skov - Stanford (inside)
4) Running Back - Yes, it's not a super pressing need, given the presence of one Adrian Peterson on the Minnesota Vikings' roster. But with Toby Gerhart heading off to Jacksonville, the team could stand to solidify the depth chart behind him a little bit. They could also stand to get the sort of change-of-pace, pass-catching back that seems to thrive in a Norv Turner offense.
Arif's Five Best Remaining Running Backs: Carlos Hyde - Ohio State, Bishop Sankey - Washington, Tre Mason - Auburn, Jeremy Hill - LSU, Charles Sims - West Virginia
5) Defensive Tackle - Much like what I said earlier, when your defense is as bad as Minnesota's was last year, you can stand to have competition at multiple spots. Linval Joseph and Sharrif Floyd are penciled in as the starters at this point, but the team can always have more depth, and the Vikings need it. With a new scheme being implemented, pretty much any interior position is fair game.
Arif's Five Best Remaining Defensive Tackles: Ra'Shede Hageman - Minnesota, Louis Nix - Notre Dame, Timmy Jernigan - Florida State, Stephon Tuitt - Notre Dame, Will Sutton - Arizona State
What do you think? Which positions do you want to see the Vikings address going forward?