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Continued: Position-by-position analysis of the Vikings' draft needs

  • Article by: DAN WIEDERER , Star Tribune
  • Last update: April 24, 2013 - 12:27 AM

Level of draft need: Moderate. While there again might be a startling lack of depth at cornerback, the Vikings feel they have a full stable of potential playmakers at safety. Harrison Smith is the headliner while Jamarca Sanford, Mistral Raymond and Robert Blanton all have promise in their own ways. Coach Leslie Frazier is thrilled with the level of competition that exists.

 

Specialists

Level of draft need: Low. After a ridiculously good rookie campaign, Blair Walsh’s job is safe. But is punter Chris Kluwe’s? Kluwe had left knee meniscus surgery in the offseason, and Spielman hasn’t exactly stamped his eccentric punter as “untouchable.” The GM signed punter T.J. Conley in January and could eye the draft for options. With Percy Harvin gone, the Vikings also might look for an explosive returner.

 

Running back

Level of draft need: Low. The league’s MVP (Adrian Peterson) has a Pro Bowl lead blocker (Jerome Felton). The depth chart seems solid for 2013. But Toby Gerhart also is entering the final year of his rookie contract. And if he seeks to hit free agency to find greater opportunity in 2014, the Vikings might want to start shopping for potential backfield backups.

 

Tight ends

Level of draft need: None. Kyle Rudolph still is ascending, a dangerous red zone weapon who made great strides with his blocking a year ago. In Frazier’s words, Rhett Ellison still sets the standard as the team’s best blocking tight end, which has earned him a chance to be on the field more in 2013.

 

Quarterback

Level of draft need: None. Heading into the season, Ponder is the undisputed starter. Matt Cassel owns the backup role. With so many other needs, using a pick on a quarterback seems impractical.

 

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Date/Opponent Time W L Score
2014 preseason     
Aug 8 - vs. Oakland 7 pmX10-6
Aug 16 - vs. Arizona 7:30 pmX30-28
Aug 23 - at Kansas City 7 pmX30-12
Aug 28 - at Tennessee 7 pmX19-3
2014 regular season     
Sep 7 - at St. Louis NoonX34-6
Sep 14 - vs. New England NoonX30-7
Sep 21 - at New Orleans NoonX20-9
Sep 28 - vs. Atlanta 3:25 pmX41-28
Oct 2 - at Green Bay 7:25 pmX42-10
Oct 12 - vs. Detroit NoonX17-3
Oct 19 - at. Buffalo NoonX17-16
Oct 26 - at Tampa Bay NoonX19-13 ot
Nov 2 - vs. Washington NoonX29-26
Nov 9 - Bye
Nov 16 - at Chicago NoonX21-13
Nov. 23 - vs. Green Bay NoonX24-21
Nov. 30 - vs. Carolina NoonX31-13
Dec 7 - vs. NY Jets NoonX30-24 ot
Dec 14 - at Detroit 3:25 pmX16-14
Dec 21 - at Miami NoonX37-35
Dec 28 - vs. Chicago NoonX13-9

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