Chart: Vikings needs by position

  • Updated: May 7, 2014 - 12:24 AM

The talk around town has been dominated by quarterbacks, but the Vikings have other needs to address so new coach Mike Zimmer can turn this ship around. He and General Manager Rick Spielman have eight draft picks to work with, including two third-rounders. Which positions will they prioritize? Here’s our best guess:

QUARTERBACKS

Level of need * High

The Vikings brought back Matt Cassel, which they say gives them the ability to pass on a signal-caller with the No. 8 pick. But at some point, presumably sooner than later, they will draft a quarterback for the future, toss him a clipboard and let him watch Cassel for a while.

RUNNING BACKS:

Level of need * Moderate

Adrian Peterson is 29 and human — no machine parts were found during his latest offseason surgery — and Toby Gerhart left in free agency. Peterson can’t carry the ball every time, so the Vikings, who have checked out college backs, need someone to give him a breather.

WIDE RECEIVERS

Level of need * Low

Greg Jennings and Cordarrelle Patterson, who electrified in a limited role as a rookie, are penciled in as the starting wideouts. Jarius Wright and Jerome Simpson provide depth. But this draft is said to be stacked with talented receivers, so don’t be surprised by a luxury pick at WR.

TIGHT ENDS

Level of need * Moderate

Kyle Rudolph is healthy and a year removed from the Pro Bowl. He is also a year away from free agency and his backup, John Carlson, was not re-signed. How they feel about Rhett Ellison and Chase Ford could determine if they spend one of their eight picks on a tight tend.

OFFENSIVE LINE

Level of need * Moderate

Matt Kalil and Phil Loadholt are one of the NFL’s better tackle duos and C John Sullivan is solid. The guard spots are less certain. They have options in Brandon Fusco, Charlie Johnson, Jeff Baca and Vlad Ducasse, but they could look to add another to the mix or draft a swing tackle.

DEFENSIVE LINE

Level of need * Moderate

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Detroit
FIU 12:05 PM
Miami
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Howard
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Alabama State
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Oklahoma 8:00 PM
Iowa State
Grambling St 8:00 PM
Miss Valley St
Boston College 8:00 PM
Virginia Tech
Bethune-Cookman 4:30 PM
NC A&T
Hampton 4:30 PM
Delaware State
Norfolk State 4:30 PM
Howard
NC Central 5:00 PM
Savannah State
Texas Southern 5:30 PM
Alabama A&M
Prairie View 5:30 PM
Alabama State
Jackson State 5:30 PM
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Iowa State 7:00 PM
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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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