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

The Vikings will have three new starters (DE Everson Griffen, DT Sharrif Floyd and NT Linval Joseph) on their front four and new DE Corey Wootten provides depth. But Zimmer likes to rotate on the D-line, and there will be intriguing options to choose from deep in the draft.

LINEBACKERS

Level of need * High

OLB Chad Greenway is the only sure bet to start. Jasper Brinkley, Audie Cole, Michael Mauti, Gerald Hodges and others are battling for the other two spots. One or two of those linebackers might emerge, but the Vikings could use a top-end talent infused into this group.

CORNERBACKS

Level of need * High

The Vikings did well in adding Captain Munnerlyn, who can play outside or in the slot, to pair with 2013 first-rounder Xavier Rhodes. But in today’s NFL, you need at least three starting-caliber corners. They might not trust Josh Robinson or Derek Cox to be that third guy.

SAFETIES

Level of need * Moderate

One spot is set with FS Harrison Smith. But while SS Jamarca Sanford has started the past two seasons, there could be an open competition at the spot. Kurt Coleman, Andrew Sendejo and Robert Blanton will be in the battle, but there could be room for one more.

SPECIALISTS

Level of need * Low

The Vikings drafted a kicker in 2012 and a punter in 2013, so don’t count on them making it three in a row. Blair Walsh is one of the NFL’s best young kickers and P Jeff Locke had a decent rookie year. And they are set at the returner spots with Patterson and Marcus Sherels.

MATT VENSEL

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Cincinnati - M. Leake 6:05 PM
Pittsburgh - E. Volquez
Minnesota - T. May 6:05 PM
Baltimore - M. Gonzalez
NY Yankees - C. Capuano 6:07 PM
Toronto - M. Buehrle
Philadelphia - D. Buchanan 6:10 PM
NY Mets - J. deGrom
Boston - A. Ranaudo 6:10 PM
Tampa Bay - C. Archer
Miami - T. Koehler 6:35 PM
Atlanta - E. Santana
Cleveland - D. Salazar 7:10 PM
Kansas City - J. Vargas
Detroit - J. Verlander 7:10 PM
Chicago WSox - S. Carroll
Texas - S. Baker 7:10 PM
Houston - B. Oberholtzer
Chicago Cubs - K. Hendricks 7:15 PM
St. Louis - S. Miller
Colorado - C. Bergman 8:40 PM
Arizona - J. Collmenter
Oakland - J. Lester 9:05 PM
LA Angels - J. Weaver
Los Angeles - D. Haren 9:10 PM
San Diego - A. Cashner
Washington - J. Zimmermann 9:10 PM
Seattle - F. Hernandez
Milwaukee - W. Peralta 9:15 PM
San Francisco - R. Vogelsong
Atlanta 24 FINAL
Jacksonville 14
Detroit 23 FINAL
Buffalo 0
Indianapolis 7 FINAL
Cincinnati 35
Kansas City 14 FINAL
Green Bay 34
NY Jets 7 FINAL
Philadelphia 37
St. Louis 13 FINAL
Miami 14
Carolina 10 FINAL
Pittsburgh 0
New England 13 FINAL
NY Giants 16
Washington 24 FINAL
Tampa Bay 10
Baltimore 22 FINAL
New Orleans 13
Chicago 13 FINAL
Cleveland 33
Denver 27 FINAL
Dallas 3
Minnesota 19 FINAL
Tennessee 3
San Francisco 40 FINAL
Houston 13
Arizona 9 FINAL
San Diego 12
Seattle 31 FINAL
Oakland 41
(21) Texas A&M 52 FINAL
(9) So Carolina 28
Wake Forest 10 FINAL
ULM 17
Boise State 13 FINAL
(18) Ole Miss 35
Tulane 31 FINAL
Tulsa 38
Rutgers 41 FINAL
Washington St 38
Weber State 14 FINAL
(19) Arizona State 45
Temple 37 FINAL
Vanderbilt 7
BYU 6:00 PM
Connecticut
(6) Jacksonville St 6:30 PM
(8) Michigan State
Bowling Green 6:30 PM
Western Ky
TX-San Antonio 8:00 PM
Houston
Colorado State 8:00 PM
Colorado
UNLV 9:30 PM
Arizona
Penn State 8/30/14 7:30 AM
UCF
Troy 8/30/14 11:00 AM
UAB
(7) UCLA 8/30/14 11:00 AM
Virginia
Western Mich 8/30/14 11:00 AM
Purdue
(5) Ohio State 8/30/14 11:00 AM
Navy
Appalachian St 8/30/14 11:00 AM
Michigan
Ga Southern 8/30/14 11:30 AM
NC State
Boston College 8/30/14 2:00 PM
Massachusetts
West Virginia 8/30/14 2:30 PM
(2) Alabama
Rice 8/30/14 2:30 PM
(17) Notre Dame
(10) South Dakota St 8/30/14 2:30 PM
(24) Missouri
Fla Atlantic 8/30/14 2:30 PM
(22) Nebraska
California 8/30/14 2:30 PM
Northwestern
Marshall 8/30/14 2:30 PM
Miami-Ohio
UC Davis 8/30/14 3:00 PM
(11) Stanford
Arkansas 8/30/14 3:00 PM
(6) Auburn
(16) Clemson 8/30/14 4:30 PM
(12) Georgia
Liberty 8/30/14 5:00 PM
(23) North Carolina
Ohio U 8/30/14 5:00 PM
Kent State
Louisiana Tech 8/30/14 6:00 PM
(4) Oklahoma
Idaho 8/30/14 6:00 PM
Florida
Stephen F Austin 8/30/14 6:10 PM
(20) Kansas State
Fresno State 8/30/14 6:30 PM
(15) USC
Southern Miss 8/30/14 6:30 PM
Miss State
Texas-El Paso 8/30/14 7:00 PM
New Mexico
North Texas 8/30/14 7:00 PM
Texas
(1) Florida State 8/30/14 7:00 PM
Oklahoma State
(14) Wisconsin 8/30/14 8:00 PM
(13) LSU
South Dakota 8/30/14 9:30 PM
(3) Oregon
(25) Washington 8/30/14 9:30 PM
Hawaii
Utah State 8/31/14 6:00 PM
Tennessee
SMU 8/31/14 6:30 PM
(10) Baylor
Miami-Florida 9/1/14 7:00 PM
Louisville
Arizona 9/4/14 7:00 PM
TX-San Antonio
Houston 7:00 PM
Sporting Kansas City
Ottawa 6:30 PM
Montreal
Winnipeg 8/31/14 3:00 PM
Saskatchewan
Toronto 9/1/14 12:00 PM
Hamilton
Edmonton 9/1/14 3:30 PM
Calgary
Brt Columbia 9/5/14 6:30 PM
Ottawa
Calgary 9/6/14 6:00 PM
Edmonton
Hamilton 9/7/14 12:00 PM
Montreal
Saskatchewan 9/7/14 3:00 PM
Winnipeg
Minnesota 9:00 PM
Phoenix
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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 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

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