Minnesota Vikings
Laquon Treadwell was selected by the Minnesota Vikings 23rd overall in the 2016 NFL Draft (Jim Gehrz, Star Tribune file)

The Minnesota Vikings started off the 2016 season on fire with a 5-0 record but scuffled down the stretch to finish 8-8. The Vikings have built a really nice roster, particularly on defense drafting well in the past few years. The question with Minnesota is how high is their season with a below average quarterback in place? The trade for Sam Bradford didn’t just set their franchise back, they also will be missing their 2017 first round pick that was sent to Philly in the egregious trade. Having said that, what can we expect from Minnesota Vikings in the 2017 NFL Draft?

The Vikings first pick isn’t until the 2nd round, 48th overall. Defensive tackle could be a spot that Minnesota targets. Shariff Floyd has been a disappointment in terms of on the field production and durability. Michigan State defensive tackle Malik McDowell could be what the team is looking for. McDowell is a really talented player but has questions about his motor and has really inconsistent stretches where he is almost invisible. Mike Zimmer is just the guy to motivate him and get the most of his talent where he could be a first-round talent is he cleans his game up.

Fortunately, the Vikings do have two 3rd round picks to work with. Given how well the team has drafted in the past, I doubt they will trade those picks to move up. Those picks they have in the 3rd round include 79th and 86th overall picks. One of those picks could be used on a center given the Vikings have one of the worst offensive line units in football. Ethan Pocic would a logical fit in the zone scheme up front. Brandon Fusco was released earlier this offseason so there is a giant hole in the middle of the line. Pocic reminded me of a  Max Unger type of player.

The other pick could be used at the running back position. Adrian Peterson is gone and the Vikings are in serious need of another power back. Minnesota did sign Latavius Murray but there is no one that can fill Peterson’s shoes. Kareem Hunt of Toledo could be the ideal fit. Hunt really put on a show at the Senior Bowl this year and could provide the in-between the tackles type of runs. The thing that stood out with Hunt is that he shined in pass protection and was able to catch the ball out of the backfield for a bigger back (5’10”, 215).