2014 NFL Draft: 5 Players Minnesota Vikings Should Target With 8th Pick

5 Options for the Vikings at No. 8

Blake Bortles

Heading into the 2014 NFL Draft, the Minnesota Vikings have two positions that must be addressed: quarterback and linebacker. They already upgraded the defensive line and secondary during free agency, but are still short on starting-caliber talent at the aforementioned spots.

With that in mind, here’s a look at five players the Vikings could target when they’re finally on the clock in the first round of the 2014 NFL Draft.

C.J. Mosley, ILB, Alabama

C.J. Mosley

C.J. Mosley, ILB, Alabama

C.J. Mosley

Heading into this offseason, the Vikings had a serious hole to fill at middle linebacker. They released Erin Henderson after off-field issues tarnished his value, and boast little experience at the spot right now. While it might be a stretch at No. 8, Mosley would be an excellent addition at the position. Not only is he a proven winner, Mosley is a physical presence on defense who can set the tempo and help revitalize a fallen Vikings defense.

Teddy Bridgewater, QB, Louisville

Teddy Bridgewater

Teddy Bridgewater, QB, Louisville

Teddy Bridgewater

This is a bit of dream scenario for the Vikings, but if quarterbacks start to slide, Bridgewater could be available when they’re on the clock at No. 8. Especially after his disappointing Pro Day, there’s reason to believe he might take a tumble. Assuming that’s the case, he’d fit right in with Minnesota. Not only is he the most NFL-ready passer of the 2014 class, but he’s a terrific leader with a polished arm. Bridgewater is a perfect fit.

Darqueze Dennard, CB, Michigan State

Darqueze Dennard

Darqueze Dennard, CB, Michigan State

Darqueze Dennard

Even after signing Captain Munnerlyn this offseason, the Vikings could still use some extra help at cornerback. Dennard is a strong, physical cover man who excels at creating turnovers and playing the run. Given the recent trend in the NFL, the trio of Dennard, Munnerlyn and Xavier Rhodes would help the Vikings suddenly field of the best secondaries in the league. If options are limited at No. 8, Dennard will be a consideration.

Khalil Mack, OLB, Buffalo

Khalil Mack

Khalil Mack, OLB, Buffalo

Khalil Mack

If there’s an early run on quarterbacks, the Vikings might see a top-tier defensive talent like Mack fall to them at No. 8. If that’s the case, Minnesota would be wise to storm the podium. Mack is an elite playmaker whose instincts and awareness are rarely paralleled. He puts pressure on quarterbacks, makes plays in coverage and forces fumbles often. Just the type of difference-maker the Vikings need at linebacker in 2014.

Blake Bortles, QB, UCF

Blake Bortles

Blake Bortles, QB, UCF

Blake Bortles

While Bridgewater might be the better overall quarterback, Bortles seems like a more likely option to fall to the Vikings at No. 8. It wouldn’t be the worst thing, though. The UCF product has a big arm, underrated athleticism and playmaking abilities that have been compared to Andrew Luck's. If there isn’t an early run on quarterbacks, the Vikings must just get lucky and watch Bortles fall into their laps.

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


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