With two first-round picks Thursday, Nos. 23 and 25 overall, the Vikings have a chance to make a splash early in the draft.
What makes sense?
With two first-round picks Thursday, Nos. 23 and 25 overall, the Vikings have a chance to make a splash early in the draft. So who might they target? Here are six players to watch:
Notre Dame middle linebacker
Why it makes sense: The Vikings need a starting MLB. And in 2012, Te’o was the emotional leader and playmaking linchpin for the 12-1 Irish.
Reason to pass: Lacks elite speed. Plus that whole fake girlfriend hoax soap opera could bring an unwanted and exhausting media swarm.
LSU middle linebacker
Why it makes sense: If you get past his ordinary combine numbers and simply zero in on film, Minter is proven as an alert and aggressive run-stopper.
Reason to pass: Might be a half-step too slow for what the Vikings want their MLBs to accomplish in coverage.
Why it makes sense: Allen might not have eye-popping speed. But he is proficient at making catches in traffic, blessed with the instincts on how to use his 6-3, 205-pound frame.
Reason to pass: Without top-end speed, he doesn’t project to be a consistent deep threat, which is what the Vikings offense needs most.
Why it makes sense: Christian Ponder could use an outside speed guy. Hunter is that. He’s 6-4 with long strides and ran the 40 in 4.43 seconds at the combine.
Reason to pass: The depth at receiver this year gives the Vikings the potential luxury of waiting into Round 2 to grab a quality pass catcher.
XAVIER RHODES º
Florida State cornerback
Why it makes sense: In a division with Calvin Johnson and Brandon Marshall, a corner with Rhodes’ size (6-1, 210), speed and physicality would be hard to ignore if available.
Reason to pass: Rhodes is at his best in press coverage and might not be the ideal fit in a zone-heavy Vikings defense.
North Carolina defensive tackle
Why it makes sense: In the search for a successor to Kevin Williams, Sylvester Williams’ combination of power and quickness makes him a matchup headache.
Reason to pass: His two-year stop at UNC was filled with inconsistency and he might have stamina issues.
Also keep an eye on: Alec Ogletree, Georgia LB; Robert Woods, Southern Cal WR; Cordarrelle Patterson, Tennessee WR; D.J. Hayden, Houston CB
|Los Angeles - LP: P. Maholm||7||FINAL|
|Pittsburgh - WP: V. Worley||12|
|San Francisco - WP: G. Kontos||9||FINAL|
|Philadelphia - LP: J. Manship||6|
|Texas - LP: N. Tepesch||1||FINAL|
|NY Yankees - WP: J. Francis||2|
|Boston - LP: J. Peavy||3||FINAL|
|Toronto - WP: J. Happ||7|
|Miami - WP: J. Turner||6||FINAL|
|Atlanta - LP: M. Minor||5|
|San Diego - LP: E. Stults||0||FINAL|
|Chicago Cubs - WP: K. Hendricks||6|
|Cincinnati - LP: S. LeCure||3||FINAL|
|Milwaukee - WP: F. Rodriguez||4|
|Cleveland - WP: D. Salazar||8||FINAL|
|Minnesota - LP: Y. Pino||2|
|Kansas City - WP: B. Chen||7||FINAL|
|Chicago WSox - LP: S. Carroll||1|
|Tampa Bay - WP: J. Odorizzi||7||FINAL|
|St. Louis - LP: A. Wainwright||2|
|Washington - WP: C. Stammen||7||FINAL|
|Colorado - LP: B. Brown||4|
|Detroit - LP: P. Coke||4||FINAL|
|Arizona - WP: E. De La Rosa||5|
|Houston - WP: D. Downs||3||FINAL|
|Oakland - LP: F. Abad||2|
|Baltimore - WP: M. Gonzalez||4||FINAL|
|LA Angels - LP: M. Morin||2|
|NY Mets - WP: J. deGrom||3||FINAL|
|Seattle - LP: E. Ramirez||1|
|Calgary||7/24/14 8:00 PM|
|Winnipeg||7/25/14 9:00 PM|
|Ottawa||7/26/14 6:00 PM|
|Toronto||7/26/14 9:00 PM|
|Winnipeg||7/31/14 6:00 PM|
|Aug 8 - vs. Oakland||7 pm|
|Aug 16 - vs. Arizona||7:30 pm|
|Aug 23 - at Kansas City||7 pm|
|Aug 28 - at Tennessee||7 pm|
|2014 regular season|
|Sep 7 - at St. Louis||Noon|
|Sep 14 - vs. New England||Noon|
|Sep 21 - at New Orleans||Noon|
|Sep 28 - vs. Atlanta||3:25 pm|
|Oct 2 - at Green Bay||7:25 pm|
|Oct 12 - vs. Detroit||Noon|
|Oct 19 - at. Buffalo||Noon|
|Oct 26 - at Tampa Bay||Noon|
|Nov 2 - vs. Washington||Noon|
|Nov 9 - Bye|
|Nov 16 - at Chicago||Noon|
|Nov. 23 - vs. Green Bay||Noon|
|Nov. 30 - vs. Carolina||Noon|
|Dec 7 - vs. NY Jets||Noon|
|Dec 14 - at Detroit||Noon|
|Dec 21 - at Miami||Noon|
|Dec 28 - vs. Chicago||Noon|