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2016 Draft Needs: Minnesota Vikings

The Minnesota Vikings won the division in 2015 and will look to continue to build their team for 2016. GM Rick Spielman has built a good defense and has Adrian Peterson at his disposal but the Vikings roster does have some needs. The Vikings have picks 23, 54, 86, 121, 160, 180, 240 and 244.

Wide Receiver

The Vikings biggest need is WR. Mike Wallace didn’t perform after a trade and rookie Stefan Diggs is a good number 2 WR at best. Wallace was cut this offseason. The Vikings need a talent WR to pair with Diggs and TE Kyle Rudolph. Jarius Wright is an average slot WR and could be upgraded too. The Vikings could draft speedy Corey Coleman or Josh Doctson at pick 23 for WR threats. Will Fuller, Braxton Miller and Michael Thomas could be selections at pick 54 to help Minnesota’s WR core.

Weak side LB

The Vikings front 7 is very strong and Chad Greenway was re-signed for one more year. However, Greenway should be upgraded with a good weak side linebacker. Darron Lee or Leonard Floyd could be possible at pick 23 or after a trade down.

Future Needs

Offensive tackle

Matt Kalil has struggled the last three seasons for the Vikings. He is playing on a 5th year option for 2016 but the Vikings could look to upgrade. I don’t know if Taylor Decker, Jack Conklin would last until pick 23. Jason Spriggs is an option at pick 23 though. Shonn Coleman and Gerald Hawkins are possible picks at 54 if the Vikings think they could be a future left tackle.

Andre Smith was signed to a one year deal at right tackle and Phil Loadholdt is coming off a torn Achilles injury and will be a free agent in 2017. Right Tackle could be a need for 2017 for the Vikings too.

Strong Safety

The Vikings signed Michael Griffen to a one year deal and Andrew Sendejo to a long term deal. However the Vikings could upgrade at the strong safety spot. There are plenty of safety candidates in Round 2-4 for Minnesota. Vonn Bell, Karl Joseph, Darian Thompson, Jeremy Cash, Jalen Mills, Jaryon Kearse are all Round 2-4 prospects. Harrison Smith is a free agent after 2016 but the Vikings will surely want to sign him.

Backup QB

Shaun Hill is signed for the Vikings but they could use a young developmental QB. Kevin Hogan, Jeff Driskel, Jake Coker are day 3 options for Rick Spielman to pick.

Backup DT

Shariff Floyd is a free agent in 2017 but the Vikings hold the 5th year option. That could be costly with CB Xavier Rhodes needing a 5th year option as well and Harrison Smith needing a long term deal. The Vikings could take a DT at pick 23, 54 or 86 in a deep DT class. A’Shawn Robinson, Jarran Reed, Andrew Billings, Austin Johnson, Vernon Butler are all options for the Vikings at 23. Chris Jones, Kenny Clark, Adolphus Washington could be day 2 options at DT for Minnesota.

Future Running Back to pair with McKinnon

Adrian Peterson is still a beast but he is getting up there in age and will be 31 this season. Peterson has two years left on his deal and a high 18 million cap hit in 2017. Jerrick McKinnon is a good backup RB and did well in 2014 for Peterson.

However, the Vikings could add one more back on day 2 or day 3 of the draft. The Vikings could use a pass catching RB that can block too. CJ Prosise, Jordan Howard, Alex Collins, Kenneth Dixon, Devontae Booker and even Derrick Henry are options for the Vikings in Round 2 or possibly Round 3. Paul Perkins, Jonathan Williams, Kelvin Taylor or Tyler Ervin could be Round 3 or later picks.

Future Cornerback

Xavier Rhodes, Captain Munnerlyn and Terrence Newman are free agents after 2016. Rhodes has a 5th year option though. Trae Waynes is waiting the wings behind Newman if he doesn’t start this year. However, the Vikings could always use a good CB. Pick 23 or pick 54 are perfect spots to grab a corner if BPA for Spielman.

Kicker

Blair Walsh may have some issues in 2016 after the 2015 ending.

Summary

The Vikings are very talented but do have some weapon and future holes. The Vikings have plenty of picks and a solid GM to add talent for 2016.