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Vikings offseason needs

Jonathan Bachman/Getty Images

Vikings Offseason Needs NFL 2022: Free Agency and Draft Preview

Vikings offseason needs
Jonathan Bachman/Getty Images

Vikings Offseason Needs NFL 2022: Free Agency and Draft Preview

The Vikings have a very fun offense to watch. They have Dalvin Cook, Adam Thielen, and Justin Jefferson. That’s a formidable trio. I refuse to discuss Kirk Cousins because that argument is torn 50-50. This offense is good enough to hang with anyone, as we could tell from the season. The defense? Completely on the other side of the spectrum. They STINK, and they’re about to get a lot worse. Out of the 8 defensive players hitting the market for the Vikings 5 of them are starters or get significant playing time. YIKES. Luckily for them, the NFC North COULD be a mess and a toss-up if Aaron Rodgers decides to leave/retire. If the Vikings want to contend for the NFC North crown if it all goes to shit for the Packers, the time is now. Let’s look at the Vikings offseason needs.

Vikings Free Agency

The cap situation is not great for the Vikings offseason needs but there is still hope for this team. They currently have -$11 million in cap space. Oof. They need to retain all of the cheaper deals that they can. In terms of cap, they’re going to have to let Patrick Peterson, Sheldon Richardson, and Anthony Barr go. It would help if you were getting them for cheaper but I just don’t think that happens for them. I think they can retain Xavier Woods and bring back Everson Griffen one more year. Other than LB, this is a good year to address defensive problems in free agency. It will just be tough to see how the Vikings do that with little cap space. That means most of their problems will have to be solved by drafting. But, if they hit on some draft picks and retain a couple of key players on their defense, they might improve on that side of the ball.

Vikings Draft

With the Vikings being about midway through the 1st round, their objective is simple: Draft the best defensive player that drops to them. That could be linebackers like Nakobe Dean or Devin Lloyd. Or CBs like Andrew Booth Jr., or Ahmad Gardner. I doubt Aidan Hutchinson and Kayvon Thibodeaux will be there, but maybe George Karlaftis is there for them. Jordan Davis or DeMarvin Leal anyone? Who knows? The defensive possibilities are endless. All I do know is that the best defensive player has to be the first pick for the Vikings.

In the 2nd round, now don’t call me crazy, but we’re going defense again. Same idea here: Best defensive player available. Even if that means doubling up in the secondary, linebacker, DE, or even DT (I doubt there will be two good DTs for the Vikings here.) This defense has to be young and cheap given the Vikings’ cap situation. Let’s fix that here now. Drake Jackson or Myjal Sanders should still be on the board here at DE. LBs could be rich in the 2nd round with Christian Harris, Darrian Beavers, or Brandon Smith possibly being on the board. Trent McDuffie and Derion Kendrick will still be on the board in the 2nd round. Would be overkill for the Vikings to go 3 straight picks defensively? Yes. Should they do it? Also yes.

In the 3rd round you might be looking at Nik Bonitto or Kingsley Enagbare at EDGE. The DT talent is better suited for the 3rd round with guys like Devonte Wyatt, Perrion Winfrey, and Tyler Davis. At LB, at least 1 of those guys I mentioned above should still be there. At CB, Nehemiah Pritchett, Coby Bryant, or Kyler Gordon, might be available. The plan is that simple. Draft the best defensive players you can and let’s see if we can compete in the NFC North. The offense can do its job, but can the defense?

The Vikings situation doesn’t have to be hard. Fix the defense and let’s run it back, now with Kevin O’Connell. The offense might be good enough to hang around even against tough teams like we saw this past year. But can the defense get that needed stop to help them win? That’ll depend on how aggressive they address that issue in the offseason, more importantly, the draft. I refuse to address the Kirk Cousins situation. The fanbase seems totally torn on that, so let’s just focus on things outside of that.

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