The Minnesota Vikings have drafted brilliantly and used their money wisely, putting them in an enviable position of having plenty of resources and very few holes. The offensive line needs additional improvements, and the defensive interior and linebacker levels could need some depth as well. New offensive coordinator John DeFilippo will likely want a few new offensive pieces, though more for depth purposes than anything else.
Round 1, pick 30: James Daniels, C, Iowa
The Vikings’ move to a lot of zone concepts in their run game means John DeFilippo’s offensive line has to be on point this season after making small strides last year. Coming from Philadelphia, DeFilippo knows the importance of having a game-changing pivot, and Daniels’ zone experience, toughness, technique and athleticism will allow the Vikings to move Pat Elflein to guard, which may suit him better.
Round 2, pick 62: Nathan Shepherd, DT, Fort Hays State
This might be high for Shepherd to some folks, but I think he has incredible upside in a skill set that is already a little more polished than I thought it was. Shepherd dominated the first day of Senior Bowl practice, and his burst, physicality and active hands will be clay in Mike Zimmer’s masterful hands.
Round 3, pick 94: Fred Warner, LB, BYU
The Vikings have to re-sign Stefon Diggs and Danielle Hunter to long-term deals by next offseason, which could mean losing one or both (not likely both) of Eric Kendricks and Anthony Barr. Even if it doesn’t turn out that way, linebacker needs to be addressed, and if Fred Warner’s combine hasn’t raised his stock past this point in the draft, the Vikings will have a versatile, athletic steal on their hands.
Round 5, pick 169: Kentavius Street, DE, North Carolina State
After spending year as Bradley Chubb’s running mate, Street will have a chance to land his raw, highly-athletic upside with a team known for making the most of players with similar profiles in Minnesota.
Round 6, pick 207: Chris Herndon, TE, Miami
Herndon has exceptional athletic upside and some impressive flashes on tape, but playing behind David Njoku and then suffering a torn MCL midway through his senior season have torpedoed his draft stock. Herndon is big, talented and athletic, and DeFilippo knows the beauty of having multiple weapons at tight end.
Round 6, pick 214: Taron Johnson, CB, Weber State
Johnson isn’t big or long but is tough enough to play on the outside. he could have the skills to project inside. He looks like a longtime depth cornerback who can play special teams at a high level.
Round 6, pick 217: Akrum Wadley, RB, Iowa
The Vikings look like they’ll lose Jerick McKinnon in free agency, leaving them with a void at RB3. Wadley isn’t going to be a feature player, but he is an adept receiver with some elusiveness in space to be a creative piece in DeFilippo’s offense.