NFL Minnesota Vikings

5 Potential First-Round Scenarios for Minnesota Vikings in 2014 NFL Draft

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5 Directions the Vikings Could Go at No. 8

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With so many needs to address this offseason, the Minnesota Vikings must make the most of their first-round pick during the 2014 NFL Draft. They’re in good position at No. 8 overall, but a lot can happen in the first seven picks.

When draft day arrives, the Vikings could choose to stand pat and take whatever falls to them at No. 8. They could also decide to trade up to make sure they get the player they want, but what price will a higher pick come at? Minnesota could even choose to trade down and stockpile picks, but risk not being able to land the player they want.

One way or another, the Vikings must find a way to make a significant upgrade to their roster. After a disappointing 5-10-1 season, Minnesota must find a way to progress towards being a contender. They weren’t far away in 2012, but saw a significant drop off in 2013 due to poor quarterback and secondary play. Now, it’s time for them to start putting the pieces back together and finding ways to make the most of the talent currently available on their roster.

With a new coaching staff in place and Mike Zimmer ready to prove he belongs at the helm, there’s plenty of hope for the Vikings’ future. Whether or not they can capitalize, though, will depend largely on what they end up doing with their first-round pick.

Here’s a look at five scenarios that could play out for the Vikings when the 2014 NFL Draft rolls around.

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Take Blake Bortles at No. 8

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With numerous quarterbacks likely to come off the board in the first 10 picks, the Vikings might have to pick up the scraps. While some believe Bortles could go as early as No. 1, it’s safe to assume that Bortles could still be available at No. 8. If that’s the case, the Vikings scoop him up and hope that he can lead the offense any bit better than Christian Ponder has for the last three years.

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Trade down, and hope a quarterback slides

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The current belief is the quarterbacks could fly off the board early, but that might not be the case. If they start to slide, the Vikings could choose to trade down, grab a couple of extra picks and hope a player like Johnny Manziel falls into their laps in the middle of the first round. It’s a risky move, but they might not be sold with spending the No. 8 pick on any of these quarterbacks.

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Go defense, and take Darqueze Dennard at No. 8

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As big as their need is at quarterback, the Vikings might not be willing to spend a first-round pick on any passers available at No. 8. If that’s the case, they could choose to improve the defense instead. With Chris Cook headed for free agency and the rest of the Minnesota cornerbacks playing poorly this past season, grabbing a physical cover man like Dennard at No. 8 seems like a logical option.

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Take the best available player at No. 8

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Instead of worrying about filling a dire need, the Vikings could also opt to go with the highest player on their board when they’re finally on the clock. Whether it’s a quarterback, offensive lineman, or linebacker, many teams often choose to take the BPA (Best Player Available) approach on draft day. If that’s the case, the Vikings could find themselves drafting someone like Anthony Barr.

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Trade up, and hope Teddy Bridgewater slides

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Everyone knows the St. Louis Rams are looking to move down from the No. 2 spot. If the Vikings are sold on one of the top quarterbacks, they could decide to make a move for the betterment of their future and trade up with the Rams. Assuming the Houston Texans don’t take Bridgewater with the first overall pick, the Vikings might just snag the top quarterback of the 2014 class by trading up.

Gil Alcaraz IV is the Director of Content for Follow him on Twitter @GilAlcarazIV, like him on Facebook or add him to your network on Google.