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First thing I have to say is … great job with the draft. To come away with 15 picks this year and two extra next year, the team outdid themselves. With that said, out of all the draft picks who do you think will stand out the most this year?
— Larry R.
Kudos to Vikings GM Rick Spielman, scouts, coaches and everyone involved for seemingly nailing this draft. The experts seem to agree, too … just check out this report card.
As for impact rookies, you have to look at the first few rounds, right? Justin Jefferson will be expected to contribute right away on offense, while the two corners taken in Minnesota's first four picks (Jeff Gladney and Cameron Dantzler) could vie for starting gigs based on needs in the secondary.
And second-rounder Ezra Cleveland could also end up starting somewhere on the offensive line. Perhaps that's at left tackle, and Riley Reiff moves inside to guard? Or maybe it's Cleveland who starts at guard, while Reiff stays as the left tackle? Lots to figure out along the line, but it's only May.
The defensive linemen (D.J. Wonnum, James Lynch and Kenny Willekes) could also rotate in, and I think Troy Dye is a name to watch on special teams.
What was the strategy on not trading up into the 2nd or 3rd round with some of our later picks?
— Hogan Ordal
Spielman said right after Day 2 concluded that he was working the phones like crazy trying to move around, especially in the third round. But it takes two to tango, and he noted that he just couldn't find a team that was willing to work with a reasonable deal. The fact that there wasn't a trade in those rounds certainly wasn't due to lack of effort.
Here is what Rick said after the third round concluded:
"To be honest with you, the communication was excellent. There were just players, I think, in that top [part of the] third round ... there wasn't a lot of trading going on, and teams were just taking the guys that they liked because of the depth there. So it wasn't anything to do from the technology standpoint at all it. It was all just trying to find a partner that wanted to trade with you. We tried to be aggressive. We just couldn't get a trade partner to deal with us."
If you predict every game of the 2020 season for the Vikings right now, what record do you think the Vikings would have?
— Zane Stanley
I'm not in the prediction business, and it's tough to even project how things could shake out in 2020 without knowing the schedule.
I will say, however, that the Vikings believe they will once again be in contention for a division title and a playoff berth. Yes, the roster endured some turnover from a team that went 10-6 and won a playoff game. But there are still plenty of key pieces on the team, and Minnesota just added a huge influx of talent and depth in the draft. There's no reason to believe the Vikings won't be in the playoff mix yet again, and that's without mentioning that there's now an extra postseason berth in each conference now available.
Speaking of the 2020 schedule, the buzz is that is it going to be released soon, possibly even in the coming days. Be sure to check Vikings.com for plenty of coverage when it is released.
View the Vikings 2020 draft class portrayed as caricatures and displaying their jersey numbers. Illustrations by local artist Erik Roadfeldt.
Now that the draft has concluded, who might the Minnesota Vikings be looking at in free agency? Do you feel there are holes to fill at a position not particularly addressed in the draft?
— Dan Van in Detroit Lakes, Minnesota
Spielman said both before and after the draft that he expects the team to explore adding another player or two in free agency in the coming days/weeks.
Will that be a depth player, or more of a starter-type? That remains to be seen. I think two factors will be key in free agency … roster spots and money. The Vikings roster currently stands at 87 players, meaning there are only three spots available to get to the max of 90. And, as with every deal, finances on both sides will come into play.
Perhaps the Vikings could continue to add depth on both the offensive or defensive line, or maybe more experience in the secondary to help a stable of young cornerbacks? As I mentioned before, with 87 players on the roster, spots are few and far between at the moment. If the team does bring a player in, perhaps it's someone the coaching staff is familiar with?
We'll keep you updated on any roster moves in the near future. By the way, we appreciate your support from Detroit Lakes. Did you know that Vikings wide receiver Adam Thielen is from there?
Sorry, I had to.
Hey, Smitty. Do you think the Vikings would be interested in signing free agent G Michael Schofield? He was a starter for Gary Kubiak's 2015 Super Bowl Champion Broncos and has been a starter for the last 5 seasons in the NFL. Last year, he played all 16 games for the Chargers and only gave up 1 sack. Sounds like he would be an upgrade and a good scheme fit with his familiarity with the zone scheme the Vikings run with Coach Kubiak. Thoughts?
— Jason W. in New Jersey
And speaking of familiar players … signing a player that the staff knows could be the way to go. As Jason mentioned, Schofield knows Kubiak's system and has played for him in the past.
Alas, the Panthers announced over the weekend that they signed Schofield, so he won't be joining the Vikings.