Lunchbreak: ESPN Lists RB as ‘Quiet Need’ for Vikings in 2019 Draft

We’re a little over a week away from the start of the 2019 NFL Draft, which is scheduled to kick off next Thursday night from Nashville.

Each NFL team, including the Vikings, will look to fill roster needs for the long-term by adding fresh talent to the organization.

While it remains to be seen which direction Minnesota will go, Vikings General Manager Rick Spielman and his staff have some wiggle room with eight total draft picks.

Derrik Klassen of ESPN recently wrote that while offensive line might be Minnesota’s biggest need, he believes that the Vikings also could look to invest in a running back.

Klassen wrote:

Dalvin Cook's talent has never been a question in the NFL. However, he has suited up for only 15 of the team's 32 games over the past two seasons due to an ACL tear in 2017 and lingering hamstring issues in 2018. In an ideal world, the Vikings can move forward with Cook as the clear feature back, but it would be foolish to be confident in Cook's health at this point.

Furthermore, the backup group of Michael Boone, Roc Thomas and Ameer Abdullah is not a depth chart the Vikings should be aiming to start the season with. Even if they just take a late-round swing, the Vikings need to add a running back.

Cook led the Vikings with 615 rushing yards in 2018 despite missing five games with the aforementioned hamstring injury.

The 2017 second-round pick has 969 rushing yards and four touchdowns in his career and has averaged an impressive 4.7 yards per carry, but has missed time in the past two seasons due to injury.

The trio of running backs behind Cook on Minnesota’s roster didn’t see much action in 2018 since Minnesota had Latavius Murray then, but the veteran signed with New Orleans this offseason.

Boone and Thomas combined for 19 carries for 77 yards and no touchdowns in limited reps this past season, while Abdullah didn’t have a carry after joining the team midway through the season.

MMQB assesses Vikings WR situation across league

The Vikings might have the best wide receiver tandem in the NFL, but where does the group stack up as a whole?

Conor Orr of The MMQB recently looked at, and ranked, the wide receiver situation for each NFL team and appears to think highly of the Vikings.

Orr has Minnesota with the third-best collection of receivers in the league, as he used the quartet of Adam Thielen, Stefon Diggs, Laquon Treadwell and Chad Beebe to evaluate the Vikings group.

Orr wrote:

I would make a comment like, man if they could only get more out of Treadwell, but how many targets are there going around? Both Thielen and Diggs are incredibly productive and hover at the 70% catch mark.

Thielen and Diggs each topped 100 catches and 1,000 yards in 2018, becoming the first pair of Vikings teammates to accomplish that feat.

Treadwell took a step forward in his third season in the league, setting career marks with 35 catches for 302 yards and catching his first touchdown.

Beebe, an undrafted free agent out of Northern Illinois, played in three games as a rookie after impressing in training camp and the preseason. He missed time with injuries but had four catches for 39 yards.

Minnesota’s receivers group also features Jeff Badet, Jordan Taylor and Brandon Zylstra.

Schedule release imminent

We’ve know the Vikings 2019 opponents since the end of the 2018 regular season, but we haven’t known when each matchup will occur.

That’s set to change soon.

Good Morning Football on NFL Network reported Tuesday morning that the 2019 schedule will be revealed at 7 p.m. (CT) Wednesday.

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