Jan 2, 2014; New Orleans, LA, USA; Alabama Crimson Tide linebacker C.J. Mosley (32) runs toward Oklahoma Sooners ball carrier during the second half of the Sugar Bowl at the Mercedes-Benz Superdome. Mandatory Credit: Chuck Cook-USA TODAY Sports

2014 NFL Draft Needs: Minnesota Vikings

Is the 2014 NFL Draft here already? Sorry, we’re just a few days away but in the meantime I’ll help you navigate which draft needs rivals of the Chicago Bears, our NFC North friends. Put down your selfish Bears caps for a few minutes, take a look at what the opponent will be aiming for in the draft.

Minnesota Vikings: After a much disappointing 2013 season, the Vikings front office must be scratching their heads figuring out which position to attack first. I don’t think the draft has enough players to really elevate this team to the playoffs, but that’s also dependent on a lot of things. There are a lot of positions that need help. Let’s start with the most obvious:

Feb 23, 2014; Indianapolis, IN, USA; Central Florida quarterback Blake Bortles throws the ball during the 2014 NFL Combine at Lucas Oil Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Brian Spurlock-USA TODAY Sports

QUARTERBACK. With the No. 8 overall pick, it’s been clear by scouts that the Vikings will likely utilize that pick on a quarterback. This is general manager Rick Spielman’s shot at nailing a franchise quarterback. But, which is the right to choose? That’s been the debate of this draft. I don’t think Johnny Manziel is Norv Turner’s ideal quarterback, if he’s still here. The best fit for Turner is UCF quarterback Blake Bortles. He has a very similar playing style to Blake Bortles, but needs to be shaped and a student under Matt Cassel for awhile. Sure Adrian Peterson led them to a playoff berth two seasons back, but they won’t continue to establish success without a QB leading the way.

DEFENSIVE BACK. Being a defensive back in the NFC North isn’t easy, especially when you’re on the Vikings, as they were 31st in pass defense this season. In a single season, a Vikings DB must face Brandon Marshall, Alshon Jeffery, Calvin Johnson, Randall Cobb and Jordy Nelson…twice. The addition of former Panthers cornerback Captain Munnerlyn will definitely help, but one solid defensive back will not fix your problems. Since the Vikings have the No. 8 pick in the 2nd-round (pick No. 40), they will still be able to get a quality prospect like Washington State safety Deone Bucannon. This team can’t afford to go through this draft without addressing this position. I predict they take one safety and one cornerback.

DEFENSIVE LINEMAN. The Vikings let go one of their marquee franchise players in the offseason in defensive end Jared Allen. That’s one big hole to fill. I know a lot of scouts are saying the Vikings should take a defensive tackle, but they got to give Sharrif Floyd one more year. So pick up a defensive end to try and fill the void maybe in the 4th round.

LINEBACKER. Minnesota needs a heart to their defense, and I don’t mean Chad Greenway because he can’t do this by himself. If the Vikings don’t fall in love with a QB at the No. 8 overall pick, I could see them taking Alabama linebacker C.J. Mosley. He’s dynamic, speedy, and extremely intelligent but has questions of durability. If the Vikings take a QB in the first round, look for them to maybe even take two linebackers. BYU’s Kyle Van Noy is a great 2nd/3rd round linebacker, Florida State’s Telvin Smith…or maybe even Illinois’ Jonathan Brown would help the team.

OFFENSIVE GUARD. Not a high priority on their list, but there were glaring concerns with the offensive line this season. The line wasn’t exactly giving Vikings quarterbacks a lot of time or lanes for Adrian Peterson to run through. Other positions are a higher necessity, but guard is a position they need to consider for the future of their new QB.

From the Bears fan perspective:

-Root for the Vikings to pick Alabama linebacker C.J. Mosley with the No. 8 overall selection. And, hope that Johnny Manziel doesn’t fall that far in the first round. I’d rather see the Vikings take a Mosley than have to predict the unknown with Manziel or have to face a solid franchise QB for the next 10 years. Better yet, let the Vikings waste a pick on Teddy Bridgewater, who has ‘bust’ writing across his face.

-Pay attention to the defensive backs they draft. Root for a small cornerback or one that isn’t amazing against tall wide receivers. Munnerlyn may be able to cover Marshall, but Jeffery ripped them to shreds last season. I’d like to continue that tradition.

My take: There may be just too many needs for the Vikings to cover. Once the Bears get their defensive tackle, handling Adrian Peterson will be an easier task. The only unpredictability is in the quarterback position which is what any NFC North fan should be keeping a close eye on.

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Tags: 2014 Nfl Draft Needs Blake Bortles C.J. Mosley Captain Munnerlyn Chicago Bears Jared Allen Minnesota Vikings Draft Needs NFC North

  • Parody Parody

    That was a great breakdown. As a Vikings fan, I don’t think I could put together anything nearly as admirable for the draft of any other NFC North team. I especially liked how you threw in your preferred perspective at the end for the Vikings to mess it up, but you better not count on it.

    With that said, your guys better start getting ready for Bortles. Maybe not this year, but Norv’s going to have him tearing apart the Lions, Packers and Bears routinely not too long after. SKOL!

  • Bob E.

    Great piece! But if we draft Manziel you guys should be happy as hell… He’s a running QB and all they do in the NFL is get hurt. Briggs and Allen will end his career as a rookie. Bridgewater had 1 bad pro day, I think he’s got draft steal written on him but it is a gamble. Bortles is the one that should concern you most. Good luck to your Bears. Skol!

  • Gordon Guffey

    I totally disagree that is a forsure thing the Vikings draft a QB at #8 ~ JMHO but I believe (((my best guess))) the Vikings go defense in the first 2 rounds unless they take a RB in round two ~ Now some will call this a crazy idea ~ They traded up for Toby in case of injury or they couldn’t get AP resigned ~ Nothing much has changed and I believe there will be some upset fans come day two of the draft ~ Toby is gone and there isn’t a real replacement on the roster ~ Also there is a great chance of missing on a player in the latter rounds ~ Sure they could hit but what if the miss and the guy is a bust ~ ???

    Lastly Norv is a run first type of OC letting play action open everything in the passing game ~ He has said this over and over ~ Zimmer is a no BS kind of coach who isn’t going to let players tell him what to do ~ I believe in my heart thats one of the reasons J. Allen signed with the Bears and it was clear Ronison wasn’t happy when he found out he would be rotating ~

    Back to AP ~ He want ((( IMHO )))) get to do like last year when he played at far less than 100% ~ Frazier had something to do with this as he was trying to save his job but AP was building his stats ~ Toby should have been in there and this year if AP isn’t playing like AP he want be on the field like in the past ~

    I really believe if one of the top two RB are on the board when the Vikings pick in round two they very well could draft him ~ He is not only going to be AP’s backup but if he can pass block and catch the ball well he will be his replacement in the very near future ~ Also if there is a team who feels AP could get them over the hump ((( Denver~Colt ect… ))) around trade deadline the Vikings could double their asking price ~

    Just some thoughts ~ As always I could be wrong case it happened to me once before ~ LOL ~ I just happen to believe RB is very important to Norv’s offense based on what I have read ~ I also happen to believe AP still feels like he needs to be the center of a offense be it the Vikings or someone else ~ Again JMHO ~