Lunch Break


Lunchbreak: A Look at Vikings Needs Before Free Agency Opens

Posted Mar 13, 2018

The free agency frenzy is about to begin, as the annual league year will kick off at 3 p.m. (CT) Wednesday.

While it remains to be seen what moves the Vikings will make, ESPN writer Courtney Cronin offered her thoughts at how Minnesota could bolster its roster in the coming days and weeks.

Cronin wrote that the Vikings top priority should be the quarterback spot in finding both a starter and a possible backup.

Despite the hefty price tag that comes with landing the league's top free agent, Minnesota has a chance to finally land a franchise quarterback. Signing [Kirk] Cousins could alleviate the problems of quarterback longevity this team has dealt with in the past decade while also upgrading the position. The Vikings have more than $54 million in available money entering the new league year, which means they can make Cousins the highest-paid quarterback in NFL history while not having to sacrifice key pieces elsewhere — at least for right now. If they sign Cousins in March, they can also extend the contracts of Anthony Barr and Eric Kendricks this offseason. Cousins has three straight seasons of more than 4,000 passing yards; in Minnesota, he can build on that with an offense loaded with weapons and backed by the league's best defense.

She later added:

The Vikings could sign someone not named Cousins and wait until April to draft their quarterback of the future, but it's more pressing to find a starter and a No. 2 quarterback in the immediate term.

Cook ranked among best running back prospects in recent years

The 2018 NFL Draft is a little more than six weeks away, as teams inch ever so close to the annual selection process.

The Vikings nabbed running back Dalvin Cook with their first pick in 2017, which came in the second round at No. 41 overall.

That move paid dividends early, and media analysts Daniel Jeremiah and Bucky Brooks are fans of the move.

Jeremiah and Brooks recently released their top running back prospects of the past three seasons at had Cook slotted fifth.

They wrote:

The skinny: Cook was so silky smooth as both a runner and receiver in the Florida State offensive attack.

Cook ran for 354 yards on 74 carries (4.8 yards per attempt) with a pair of rushing touchdowns in three-plus games for Minnesota in his rookie season.

He tore his ACL in Week 4 against the Lions but is progressing nicely and is expected to be ready to go for the 2018 season.

Cook was a two-time All-American at Florida State. He totaled 4,464 rushing yards and 46 touchdowns, setting school records in both categories, on 687 carries (6.5 yards per carry) and added 79 receptions for 935 yards.

He was named to All-ACC team three straight seasons and holds the school record for the single-season rushing total (1,765 yards in 2016).