By Jim Weidner. Living in winter chilling Minnesota, there is no doubt Minnesota Vikings general manager Rick Spielman has a vehicle with heated seats. This offseason, it is highly doubtful Spielman had to turn them on this cold winter. Spielman is firmly on the hot seat as the Vikings general manager, especially after the draft he had in 2016.
Out of the seven players that made up the Vikings 2016 draft class, only fifth round pick Kentrell Brothers and sixth round pick David Morgan saw any type of time on the field and most of that was on special teams. Two of Spielman’s picks, fourth round pick Willie Beavers and sixth round pick Moritz Boehringer, were cut before the start of the season, although both were signed to the team’s practice squad and Beavers eventually was elevated to the active roster. The biggest black eye for Spielman was the selection of wide receiver Laquon Treadwell in the first round. Treadwell played in just nine games last season and only registered one reception. For Spielman, it is a necessity that he do better in this year’s draft or it might be his last.
Today, we discuss with Daniel Parlegreco from DTP Scout what players might be available when the Vikings are on the board and which players might be the best fit.
TFG: The Vikings have some major holes to fill in this year’s draft. What hinders them is that they are without a first round pick after trading it to the Philadelphia Eagles for quarterback Sam Bradford last season. It appears they are in need of help at wide receiver, running back, interior offensive line, and defensive line. Daniel, what does the depth look like at those positions in this year’s draft? If you had to rate them, which position is the deepest and which is the weakest?
DTP: The deepest position is probably wide receiver. There is so much talent in the mid rounds at that position it isn’t even funny. Interior offensive line and running back are close too; there is so much depth there. At defensive end, there are a lot of good players, but not so much for defensive tackle. It’s a pretty weak draft for defensive tackle.
TFG: The Vikings signed two offensive tackles this offseason, Riley Reiff and Mike Remmers, but still might need help at the guard position. You have Forrest Lamp as the top offensive guard in this year’s draft. It appears he will be off the board when the Vikings select in the second round. What guard do you believe will be available for them when they select?
DTP: Yes, Lamp will definitely be off the board by then. Lot of good guards will be available in the second round though. Indiana’s Dan Feeney, Temple’s Dion Dawkins, and LSU’s Ethan Pocic are all possibilities.
TFG: The Vikings allowed running back Adrian Peterson to walk this offseason. They signed Latavius Murray from Oakland and they still have Jerick McKinnon on the roster, but still would like to get a running back who is young and can run in between the tackles. You got any players that might fit with the Vikings?
DTP: Absolutely. A few of my favorites that would fit that bill would be Samaje Perine from Oklahoma and Kareem Hunt from Toledo.
TFG: The Vikings have Stefon Diggs and Adam Thielen as their starting wide receivers currently. Treadwell was a major disappointment last season and many wonder if he will ever do anything in the NFL. The Vikings need to bring in another wide receiver, not just to sit and learn, but to contribute. Do you have any mid round wide receivers who could come in and do that?
DTP: A few guys I really love are Ryan Switzer from North Carolina who is more of a slot receiver and Carlos Henderson from Louisiana Tech. Isaiah Ford from Virginia Tech is another name to remember.
TFG: Defensive tackle Sharif Floyd had offseason surgery. It has been reported there might have been complications from the surgery, making his availability in doubt for next season. Defensive linemen are vital in Mike Zimmer’s defense. If the Vikings wait until later in the draft to address this situation, do you have any players who might still be available to help the Vikings?
DTP: Defensive tackle is going to be tough in this draft. If you are a team in need oat the position, you might have to get one earlier. A few good names are Keionta Davis from Chattanooga and Elijah Qualls from the University of Washington. Both are totally different types of players but both really good.