Things have been a little slow lately, and for that I apologize. But we’re still in the midst of Rivalry Week (or weeks, since it extends into the coming week as well) among the SB Nation family of NFL blogs, so here’s a little experiment I wanted to run with all of you.
If you could take one player from each of the Minnesota Vikings’ NFC North rivals and add them to the current roster, who would you go with?
I’m trying to put some thought into this and not just go with something like “Well, I’d just take Aaron Rodgers.” (At this point, I’m not taking Rodgers over Kirk Cousins anyway. . .yeah, I said it.) I’m attempting to find players at positions that would be significant upgrades to the Vikings’ roster at spots where they could use it the most.
So, here are my picks, along with an Honorable Mention from each team. Your mileage, as always, may vary.
Chicago Bears - Akiem Hicks, DT
The Vikings have their Linval Joseph replacement at the nose tackle spot with Michael Pierce, but the three-technique spot is a significant hole at this point. Enter Hicks, who as we all saw in the 2018 game between the Bears and Vikings at Soldier Field is single-handedly capable of destroying opposing offensive lines and making life miserable for quarterbacks and offensive coordinators. Putting him next to Pierce would give the Vikings a pair of outstanding athletic talents on the defensive interior to complement Danielle Hunter on the edge.
Honorable Mention - Cody Whitehair, OL
I’m old enough to remember when people thought Whitehair was going to flop because he didn’t bench press enough at the Scouting Combine. (Because that’s, like, super important.) As it stands now, he would be an immediate upgrade at any of the spots on the interior of the offensive line.
Detroit Lions - Kenny Golladay, WR
We’re all hoping for the best from Justin Jefferson, obviously, and I think he’s going to be able to step in and contribute immediately. However, Golladay would provide a great complement to Adam Thielen and allow Jefferson to work primarily out of the slot as a part of his development process. Golladay would be able to provide the deep threat to help take some of the heat off of Adam Thielen, and probably hasn’t reached his full potential yet, either.
Honorable Mention - Taylor Decker, OT
Another offensive lineman gets an honorable mention here, since there are plenty of people that seem to want to move on from Riley Reiff. Decker would also give the Vikings an opportunity to develop Ezra Cleveland rather than tossing him into the fire right away.
Green Bay Packers - Jaire Alexander, CB
The Vikings are going to be leaning heavily on youth at the cornerback position this year, and they could use someone that has some NFL experience and can match up with top wide receivers on other teams. Alexander has the ability to do that and would be able to help guide the Vikings’ younger cornerbacks along as well.
Honorable Mention - David Bakhtiari, OT
The offensive line goes 3-for-3 in Honorable Mentions, not because I don’t think the offensive line is a need, but rather because I think the players that I picked from each team fill more pressing needs. Bakhtiari has been considered one of the best offensive tackles in the league for some time and would obviously be a big help to the Vikings’ offense.
How about you? If you could take one player off of the roster of each of the Vikings’ NFC North rivals and bring them to Minnesota, who would you take?