If the Minnesota Vikings have been to go after free brokers main as much as coaching camp on July 28, what positions would the franchise pursue?
That’s the query crew reporter Eric Smith answered on the crew’s Monday Morning Mailbag section. Smith’s reply aligned with the Vikings’ draft in April: reinforce each strains, construct extra depth within the secondary and discover extra weapons for Kirk Cousins.
Common Supervisor Rick Speilman chosen 13 picks of his 15-man draft class at these place teams, and till the crew’s future stars emerge, these holes within the lineup should be addressed now as a crew is constructed to contend over the following few years.
And whereas a payday might be on the horizon for Dalvin Cook dinner, the group may maneuver some funds round to introduce just a few veterans when coaching camp arrives.
Right here’s Smith’s response:
“Including to the roster might be an possibility as we get nearer to camp, however I may additionally see the crew retaining the roster at 87 gamers for now and ready a bit so as to add extra gamers. Maybe they wait every week or so and see how early camp battles shake out earlier than including depth?
However at this level, the areas I’d presumably look to deal with could be alongside each the offensive and defensive strains, at cornerback and security, and likewise extensive receiver.
Whereas I lined Smith and Harris above, there aren’t any gamers with NFL expertise behind them at present on the roster. And groups are at all times searching for depth within the trenches.”
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Security and Offensive Line Amongst Greatest Issues
Surprisingly, the place the place the Vikings boast a number of the NFL’s greatest gamers occurs to even be their greatest weak spot.
Anthony Harris and Harrison Smith make up the most effective security tandem within the league, in response to Professional Soccer Focus, however past the duo is subsequent to nothing.
Rookies Josh Metellus (sixth spherical), Brian Cole (seventh spherical) and Myles Dorn (undrafted) make up the remainder of the security corps. If both Harris or Harrison Smith goes down, there’s zero NFL expertise compounded with a digital offseason, and no rookie OTAs working in opposition to their replacements.
In the meantime, 9 of the 16 Vikings offensive lineman at present rostered are both first or second-year gamers. Spielman instructed the Star Tribune there’s “extensive open” competitors at each guards spots.
Whereas the Vikings did half methods with longtime edge rusher Everson Griffen and defensive deal with Linval Joseph, the offseason signing of former Baltimore Ravens defensive deal with Michael Pierce and the emergence of go rusher Ifeadi Odenigbo ought to buoy the Vikings defensive entrance.
Eric Smith Predicts Cornerbacks to Come on Late within the Season
Cornerback was the most important concern within the offseason after the Vikings launched Xavier Rhodes, Mackenzie Alexander and Trae Waynes after the trio performed a collective 233 profession video games with the Vikings.
Whereas Spielman put his cash on the desk by spending first- and third-round picks on rookie cornerbacks Jeff Gladney (TCU) and Cam Dantzler (Mississippi State), respectively, the truncated offseason is bound to have impacted their improvement in a dire time for the Vikings on the place.
Crew reporter Eric Smith was requested for his opinion on if the secondary will enhance this season, which he answered pragmatically.
“To reply your query, how about this believable situation? The Vikings secondary begins off gradual in 2020 however improves all through the season to complete about the identical as 2019. However then the potential is there within the coming years for a top-tier unit, much like what the Vikings had in 2017,” he mentioned.
Third-year cornerback Mike Hughes is the one secured starter within the Vikings secondary, as he has began in 5 video games and performed in 20 over the previous two seasons.
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Observe Trevor Squire on Twitter: @trevordsquire