The Minnesota Vikings were one of the more active teams throughout free agency, but now that we’ve gotten a chance to glimpse at this roster as a whole with the frenzy slowing down, here are the top 5 Vikings draft needs following free agency.
The Vikings have a bonafide superstar in Justin Jefferson, but behind him, the production from Minnesota’s wide receiver room quickly drops off after K.J. Osborn. In order to take some pressure off Jefferson, it makes sense for the Vikings to try and find a third receiver in the draft.
Currently, the most likely spot to find a true contributor is with their 23rd overall pick in the first round. There are a number of different options that could be available such as the shifty route-runner out of Ohio State, Jaxon Smith-Njigba, the big-bodied playmaker out of TCU, Quentin Johnston, or the burner out of Tennessee, Jalin Hyatt.
Minnesota’s linebacker crew could be the most volatile position on the roster right now. Perhaps Brian Flores can get some of major production out of guys like Brian Asamoah or Jordan Hicks in a blitz-heavy scheme, but there is also the chance that the group misses Eric Kendricks’ leadership and production.
Regardless, even if the Vikings linebackers do well in 2023, the reality is that Minnesota needs a plan in place for the future as well. Perhaps this could lead Minnesota taking a swing at a linebacker in the third round.
Interior Defensive Line
Similar to the linebacker position, the Vikings defensive line seems largely set for the 2023 season, unless they opt to draft someone like Bryan Bresee or Calijah Kancey in the first round.
Minnesota snatched Dean Lowry from the Green Bay Packers in free agency, and he will hopefully replace at least some of the production lost with the departure of Dalvin Tomlinson. However, this is another group largely filled with veterans who won’t be solutions for years to come. The Vikings should start planning for the future by drafting another interior lineman.
It would certainly be preferable for the Vikings to find another veteran cornerback in free agency, but if they are unable to do that, they cannot ride into the 2023 season with just five players at the position and four that have extremely limited playing experience.
If Minnesota were to trade down from No. 23 in the first round, they could land a decent CB in the early second round, but they also had luck finding Akayleb Evans in the fourth round of the 2022 Draft. Perhaps Kwesi Adofo-Mensah has his eye on another Day 3 player this spring.