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Lunchbreak: Draft Prospects Who Compare to Current Vikings

The 2017 NFL Draft is just over six weeks away, meaning hundreds of draft prospects have some waiting to do before joining their new teams.

But Daniel Jeremiah of NFL.com took a look at this year's class of college players and found out who they compare to in the NFL.

Of the 33 top prospects that Jeremiah looked at, two had connections to current Vikings defensive players.

Jeremiah wrote that Alabama cornerback Marlon Humphrey reminds him of Vikings cornerback Xavier Rhodes.

Like Rhodes was, Humphrey is a tall, long, athletic corner who needs a little development coming out of college. Rhodes has improved in each of his four NFL seasons, and Humphrey will experience that same upswing with the right coaching.

Rhodes made his first Pro Bowl in 2016 after snagging a team-high five interceptions with 14 passes defended.

Jeremiah then found another Alabama connection, as he said Crimson Tide linebacker Tim Williams brings back memories of Vikings defensive end Everson Griffen.

Like Griffen was, Williams is a raw, explosive, twitched-up edge rusher who was inconsistent in college but possesses tremendous potential at the next level. Griffen has been a force in the last three seasons, with his best performance coming in his fifth NFL season (12 sacks).

Griffen has 30.5 sacks over the past three seasons and has made the Pro Bowl in back-to-back years.

Vikings will have eye on future this offseason

The Vikings inked a pair of free agent deals last week with the signings of offensive linemen Riley Reiff and Mike Remmers.

As Minnesota ponders more free agent moves, Ben Goessling of ESPN.com said the Vikings could also look ahead to 2018 and beyond while navigating this offseason. 

If the Vikings have to worry about anything, it might be structuring future contracts to accommodate some of the decisions they have approaching in 2018.

Goessling said the Vikings could look into extended contracts for Rhodes and quarterback Sam Bradford, something Vikings General Manager Rick Spielman talked about earlier this offseason. 

Goessling said more moves could also need to be made.

And then there are the costly ramifications of the Vikings' stellar 2015 draft class: linebacker Eric Kendricks, defensive end Danielle Hunter and wide receiver Stefon Diggs all hit free agency after the 2018 season. Throw in the fact that Griffen and Linval Joseph also become free agents after that season, and the Vikings have some big decisions coming, especially on the defensive side of the ball.

Thanks to VP of Football Operations Rob Brzezinski's typically shrewd cap management, the Vikings have enough room to add to their roster yet this offseason and retain some space for their draft class (which, it should be noted, doesn't currently include the cost of a first-round pick). If the Vikings hand out more multi-year deals yet this spring, though, they'll have to structure them in a way that affords some flexibility for the choices they'll have to make in the near future.

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