It’s been a couple weeks since the completion of the NFL Draft, and now we’ve got a much clearer picture of what depth charts across the league will look like. When you take a look at impact of the Minnesota Vikings‘ draft, there are a couple key things that jump out on the defensive side of the ball. The first thing, is that they didn’t acquire a middle linebacker in the early rounds. In fact, there were no ‘early’ round picks, just the first round.
Who knows what the original plans may have been, but after DT Sharrif Floyd fell to Vikings at No. 23, they had no choice but to take him. The same logic applied to the 25th pick and CB Xavier Rhodes. Minnesota got great value at two positions they needed to fill, and then of course they had to go wide receiver with the next pick. Linebacker was a position they decided they could wait on.
Now, because of how the draft has played out, they were left with no other choice but to move LB Erin Henderson inside. This is a move that has about a 50/50 shot at success, but it’s the best option for the club at this time.
Also in the secondary, the team lost Antoine Winfield, and has replaced him with a rookie. There’s now a clear lack of veteran leadership in the secondary, and the defense as whole, is going through a time of transition. The leaders at this point are Jared Allen and Chad Greenway. Allen is more of the emotional leader, and Greenway more of a guy who lets his play do the talking. These two will no doubt be called upon to play an even bigger role in the leadership department this season. But are they enough for the team?
I’d really like to see the Vikings acquire one more veteran player for both the linebacker corps and secondary. It doesn’t necessarily have to be a player the caliber of Charles Woodson or Brian Urlacher, but I wouldn’t be upset with the signing of either player. I think there’s a lot to be said for veteran leadership on defense, and at this time, the Vikings are lacking some. Can they get by as is? Probably, but why not bring at least one more veteran on board to help all the young players along?
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