2014 NFL Draft: Updating the Minnesota Vikings’ 5 Biggest Needs

The Vikings' Updated Top 5 Needs

Matt Cassel
Bruce Kluckhohn-USA TODAY Sports

Coming off a disappointing 2013 campaign, the Minnesota Vikings desperately need to address some concerns via the 2014 NFL Draft. It all starts with targeting a starting-caliber quarterback, but there are certainly other positions in need of help. Can GM Rick Spielman get the job done like he has in drafts passed?

Here’s a look at five positions the Vikings need to keep in mind when May rolls around.

5. Weakside Linebacker

Gerald Hodges
Matthew Emmons-USA TODAY Sports

5. Weakside Linebacker

Gerald Hodges
Matthew Emmons-USA TODAY Sports

After the release of Erin Henderson and departure of Marvin Mitchell this offseason, the Vikings are rather short at weakside linebacker. The only capable player at the position right now is Gerald Hodges, who was limited to a special teams role during his rookie 2013 campaign. While Hodges offers some long-term potential, adding a true starter or at least competition at the spot would be wise.

4. Left Guard

Charlie Johnson
Bruce Kluckhohn-USA TODAY Sports

4. Left Guard

Charlie Johnson
Bruce Kluckhohn-USA TODAY Sports

The Vikings reluctantly re-signed Charlie Johnson this offseason, but that doesn’t mean they’re ready to hand him the starting job again. Sophomore Jeff Baca is expected to push for playing time at left guard, but Minnesota might be better off targeting a top guard via the draft. If one of the top two prospects is available at the beginning of the second round, it might become a serious consideration.

3. No. 2 Running Back

Matt Asiata
Bruce Kluckhohn-USA TODAY Sports

3. No. 2 Running Back

Matt Asiata
Bruce Kluckhohn-USA TODAY Sports

It’s not like the Vikings need to add competition for Adrian Peterson, but the lack of depth at running back is apparent heading into 2014. After losing Toby Gerhart to free agency, Minnesota is left with Matt Asiata as the backup. That’s not exactly an ideal situation. There are several No. 2, third-down-type running backs in the 2014 class, which puts the Vikings in perfect position to fill that void.

2. Cornerback

Xavier Rhodes
Brace Hemmelgarn-USA TODAY Sports

2. Cornerback

Xavier Rhodes
Brace Hemmelgarn-USA TODAY Sports

The Vikings have a solid foundation in the secondary with Harrison Smith and Xavier Rhodes, but they need another top-tier cornerback to solidify their pass defense. If one of the top quarterback prospects isn’t available in the first round, you have to believe Minnesota will target a cornerback. Whether they prefer Justin Gilbert or Darqueze Dennard, both would be excellent additions to the defense.

1. Quarterback

Christian Ponder
Brace Hemmelgarn-USA TODAY Sports

1. Quarterback

Christian Ponder
Brace Hemmelgarn-USA TODAY Sports

There’s no way the Vikings believe that Matt Cassel is anything more than a stop-gap quarterback. And we all know that Christian Ponder is nothing more than a career backup following his disappointing stint as the starter. Minnesota needs to spend a draft pick (or two) on a quarterback, and will likely do so in the first round assuming there’s value still available at No. 8.

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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