The primary priority for the Vikings this offseason was propping up their offensive line, which they hope to have accomplished by signing Alex Boone and Andre Smith and hiring Tony Sparano to coach that group.
Interestingly, and perhaps not coincidentally, their NFC North rivals made moves, some of them major, to strengthen their defensive fronts.
The Bears poured a lot of resources into their front seven, signing inside linebackers Danny Trevathan and Jerrell Freeman in free agency, trading up to draft outside linebacker Leonard Floyd with the ninth overall pick and also selecting defensive end Jonathan Bullard in the third round.
The Packers, who were typically quiet in free agency, used four of their first five draft picks on front-seven defenders, starting with nose tackle Kenny Clark with the 27th overall pick in the first round. They added outside linebacker Kyler Fackrell in the third round and inside linebacker Blake Martinez and defensive end Dean Lowry in the fourth round.
The Lions, like the Vikings, were more concerned about improving their offensive line, drafting three offensive linemen, including tackle Taylor Decker in the first round. But they did draft defensive end Anthony Zettel, too, and in free agency re-signed defensive end Haloti Ngata and added defensive linemen Stefan Charles and Wallace Gilberry to the mix.
So what does this mean for the Vikings in 2016? It’s hard to say because it’s the middle of May. But right now, at least on paper, it looks as though their new-look offensive line should be challenged within the division.