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NFL Minnesota Vikings

Minnesota Vikings: Predicting the Impact of Every 2014 Draft Pick

Minnesota Vikings: Predicting the Impact of Every 2014 Draft Pick

Minnesota Vikings Rookie Minicamp
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The Minnesota Vikings made a total of 10 selections during the 2014 NFL Draft addressing a number of holes in the process. Vikings fans and coaches have high hopes that each of these players will contribute something positive to their new team.

Here is a look at the impact each of the Vikings 2014 draft picks will have this season and into the future.

LB Anthony Barr (Round 1, Pick 9)

Anthony Barr Minnesota Vikings
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LB Anthony Barr (Round 1, Pick 9)

Anthony Barr Minnesota Vikings
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The Vikings selected Barr over players such as Justin Gilbert and Johnny Manziel with the hope that he may fill a gaping hole at linebacker and provide the team with an elite pass rusher. While Barr is very raw, as he has only been playing linebacker for two years, he is an impressive talent with an elite physical frame. Barr should easily assume a starting role at outside linebacker and provide the Vikings with a strong pass rushing threat.

QB Teddy Bridgewater (Round 1, Pick 32)

Teddy Bridgewater Minnesota Vikings
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QB Teddy Bridgewater (Round 1, Pick 32)

Teddy Bridgewater Minnesota Vikings
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The Vikings selected Bridgewater to be their quarterback of the future and he has given every indication that he will be. However, he will have to pass veteran quarterback Matt Cassel on the depth chart in order to make an immediate impact. Expect 2014 to be a “learning season” for Bridgewater, regardless of whether that is as a starter or a backup.

DE Scott Crichton (Round 3, Pick 72)

Scott Crichton Minnesota Vikings
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DE Scott Crichton (Round 3, Pick 72)

Scott Crichton Minnesota Vikings
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Crichton had an impressive college career at Oregon State and has the talent and physical frame to have a long NFL career as well. Brian Robison and Everson Griffen are entrenched as the Vikings starting defensive ends, but Crichton should see playing time in 2014. Expect Crichton to begin his career in a rotational role and ultimately replace the aging Robison as the Vikings starting defensive end.

RB Jerick McKinnon (Round 3, Pick 96)

Jerick McKinnon Minnesota Vikings
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RB Jerick McKinnon (Round 3, Pick 96)

Jerick McKinnon Minnesota Vikings
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McKinnon may have the most difficult future to predict of any of the Vikings 2014 draft selections. McKinnon mostly played quarterback in a triple-option offense in college so the transition to running back may prove difficult. However, McKinnon has the agility and speed burst of a starting NFL running back. If he can catch the ball out of the backfield, McKinnon will have an immediate impact on a new Vikings offense.

G David Yankey (Round 5, Pick 145)

David Yankey Minnesota Vikings
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G David Yankey (Round 5, Pick 145)

David Yankey Minnesota Vikings
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Of all the Vikings 2014 draft picks, Yankey may end up having the greatest impact in his rookie season. Yankey is a pro-ready offensive lineman who possesses much more talent than Charlie Johnson, who currently is ahead of him on the Vikings depth chart. Expect Yankey to be a starter on the Vikings offensive line at some point this season and solidify a guard position that has been a weakness for the Vikings in recent history.

DB Antone Exum (Round 6, Pick 182)

Antone Exum Minnesota Vikings
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DB Antone Exum (Round 6, Pick 182)

Antone Exum Minnesota Vikings
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Similar to McKinnon, Exum's future with the Vikings is hard to predict. While he possesses the talent to have an NFL impact, Exum slipped a number of rounds in the draft due to injury. Since the Vikings have a shortage of talent at both CB and S, Exum could have an immediate impact. However, it is far more likely that Exum spends most of his rookie season with the Vikings playing special teams.

CB Kendall James (Round 6, Pick 184)

Kendall James Minnesota Vikings
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CB Kendall James (Round 6, Pick 184)

Kendall James Minnesota Vikings
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James has excellent speed and had an impressive college career at Maine. However, his 180-pound frame likely will not cut it in the NFL. Expect James to spend his rookie season on special teams or on the practice squad, gaining weight and improving his coverage skills in the process.

DT Shamar Stephen (Round 7, Pick 220)

Shamar Stephen Minnesota Vikings
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DT Shamar Stephen (Round 7, Pick 220)

Shamar Stephen Minnesota Vikings
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Stephen also has an interesting future to predict. He has an impressive physical frame and a high motor, which generally is an important combination in the NFL. With the Vikings going through a transition mode at defensive line, Stephen could gain playing time sooner rather than later in a rotational role with Linval Joseph and Shariff Floyd. However, it is far more likely that he spends his rookie season on the Vikings' practice squad.

LB Brandon Watts (Round 7, Pick 223)

Brandon Watts Minnesota Vikings
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LB Brandon Watts (Round 7, Pick 223)

Brandon Watts Minnesota Vikings
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Watts is very similar to Barr in a number of ways. Most importantly, he is an impressive talent but is an extremely raw as a football player. Watts will most likely be a special teams contributor during his rookie season, but it remains possible that he may gain playing time on defense given the Vikings issues at the linebacker position.

CB Jabari Price (Round 7, Pick 225)

Jabari Price Minnesota Vikings
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CB Jabari Price (Round 7, Pick 225)

Jabari Price Minnesota Vikings
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Similar to James, Price is an above average cover corner but lacks the ideal physical frame for his position. Price undoubtedly adds solid depth to a weak Vikings secondary, but having an immediate impact is unlikely. Expect Price to either be a special teams contributor or end up on the Vikings practice squad in his rookie season.

Robert Reidell is a Minnesota Vikings Writer for RantSports.com. Follow him on Twitter, “Like” him on Facebook or add him to your network on Google+