(Sports Network) - Since the Minnesota Vikings brain trust has seemingly
married itself to a limited quarterback in Christian Ponder, it's imperative
the team has all the pieces around the Florida State product to succeed.
Possessing MVP running back Adrian Peterson, ascending tight end Kyle Rudolph
and a solid offensive line is a good start but the Vikings need help outside,
especially after trading the dynamic Percy Harvin to Seattle.
Minnesota did bring in veteran Greg Jennings, who was once a legitimate No. 1
receiver and will certainly be a better citizen and more of a leader than the
enigmatic Harvin ever was. That said, Jennings has been injury prone in recent
years and will be turning 30.
The Vikings also need a middle linebacker after losing Jasper Brinkley in free
agency to Arizona and could use depth at the cornerback position after
dropping veteran slot man Antoine Winfield, who ended up in Seattle with
It's also time to start reinforcing the defensive line, traditionally a
strength in Minneapolis. Fewer reps would serve veteran All-Pro Jared Allen as
well as the undersized Brian Robison well, and the Vikings need to find the
heir-apparent to the declining Kevin Williams at defensive tackle.
Minnesota has two first round picks, Nos. 23 and 25, and 10 selections
overall. Jennings' presence makes receiver less of an immediate issue but
Winfield's release labels cornerback a priority and the Vikings reportedly
have fallen for Mississippi State's Johnathan Banks, a player they project as
a starter early on. Banks could team with Chris Cook and Josh Robinson to give
the Vikings three solid young corners, something you need in a division in
which Aaron Rodgers, Matthew Stafford and Jay Cutler play quarterback.
Meanwhile, Minny general manager Rick Spielman has already hit big on Notre
Dame prospects in back-to-back years (Rudolph and safety Harrison Smith) and
would love Fighting Irish middle linebacker Manti Te'o but Georgia's Alec
Ogletree is a far more athletic player who is better-suited for the Vikings'
somewhat antiquated Tampa-2 base scheme.
2012 Record: 10-6
Top Needs: MLB, CB, WR, DT
First Three Picks: No. 23, No. 25, No. 52
Number of Selections: 10 (1, 1, 2, 3, 4, 4, 5, 6, 7, 7)
RECENT FIRST ROUND HISTORY: 2012 - Matt Kalil (LT, USC), Harrison Smith (S,
Notre Dame); 2011 - Christian Ponder (QB, Florida State); 2010 - none; 2009 -
Percy Harvin (WR, Florida); 2008 - none; 2007 - Adrian Peterson (RB,
Oklahoma); 2006 - Chad Greenway (LB, Iowa); 2005 - Troy Williamson (WR,
South Carolina), Erasmus James (DE, Wisconsin); 2004 - Kenechi Udeze (DE,
USC); 2003 - Kevin Williams (DT, Oklahoma State); 2002 - Bryant McKinnie (OT,
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