The Minnesota Vikings will pick eighth in the 2014 draft after a 5-10-1 season. Quarterback is the Vikings’ top priority, but the team’s defense -- which blew last-minute leads in five games this season -- also has significant holes.
If the Vikings can get a quarterback, like Johnny Manziel of Texas A&M, Blake Bortles of Central Florida or Derek Carr of Fresno State, it’s tough to see them passing up that opportunity. Christian Ponder lost the starting job after a disappointing season, Josh Freeman washed out after the Vikings gave him a one-year deal and Matt Cassel can opt out of his contract before 2014.
But if one of the top quarterbacks isn’t there, the Vikings could also look at a linebacker like Buffalo’s Khalil Mack, Alabama’s C.J. Mosley or UCLA’s Anthony Barr. They might also look for help on the defensive line, where Jared Allen and Kevin Williams could both leave in free agency this spring. And Oklahoma State defensive back Justin Gilbert could help the secondary, after the Vikings ranked 31st in the league in pass defense.
Check out Mel Kiper’s Mock Draft 1.0 to see what players he thinks the Vikings should target with their first pick.