Vikings' draft needs

  • Updated: February 23, 2011 - 12:30 AM

Vikings officials will be attending the NFL scouting combine in Indianapolis this week looking at prospects for the 2011 draft. Quarterback will be a primary focus but there are plenty of other spots where help is needed. Here are three of them:

OFFENSIVE LINE

The Vikings are expected to get away from some of the zone blocking they used under former coach Brad Childress, but that doesn't clear up all of the concerns along the line. Left guard Steve Hutchinson, a seven-time Pro Bowl selection, is 33 and ended last season on injured reserve because of a broken hand. Right guard Anthony Herrera also finished on IR because of a torn left anterior cruciate ligament. Center John Sullivan is extremely smart, but is he the physical presence the Vikings will want with new offensive coordinator Bill Musgrave? Rookie Chris DeGeare got an opportunity at left guard, but there could be more changes coming in the near future.

WIDE RECEIVER

The Vikings are hoping Percy Harvin can avoid migraines in 2011, but even if he does depth could be a real issue. Sidney Rice could be granted unrestricted free agency under the terms of a new collective bargaining agreement and there is no certainty that Bernard Berrian will be back after a very disappointing 2010. Jaymar Johnson will return from injured reserve, but Hank Baskett and Greg Lewis are expected to leave as free agents.

SECONDARY

Antoine Winfield remains one of the hardest-hitting cornerbacks in the NFL, but he isn't getting any younger -- he turns 34 in June -- and the Vikings learned last season you can never have enough depth at corner. Cedric Griffin will be coming off his second torn ACL in as many seasons, and Chris Cook struggled with knee injuries as a rookie. Asher Allen had his rough moments in his second season, and veterans Lito Sheppard and Frank Walker could leave as free agents. The safety position also could get a long look with veteran Madieu Williams having struggled at times with his tackling and angles in 2010.

JUDD ZULGAD

 

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