Lunchbreak: ESPN Predicts Vikings Move in Free Agency’s Next Wave

The first wave of free agency is over and done with, as NFL teams rushed to sign dozens of players when the 2019 league year opened up last week.

The Vikings chose to keep or add some familiar names to their roster, as they re-signed linebacker Anthony Barr and running back Ameer Abdullah while bringing back defensive tackle Shamar Stephen, whom Minnesota drafted in 2014.

But where should the Vikings add going forward?

ESPN’s stable of NFL beat writers recently took a look at which area each team should focus on going forward in the next wave of free agency and the draft, and Vikings reporter Courtney Cronin opined that Minnesota should keep looking to bolster its offensive line.

Cronin wrote:

The Vikings currently have one guard under contract for 2019: Danny Isidora, who played all of 214 snaps in four games last season. Even after restructuring Everson Griffen's contract, Minnesota doesn't have the space needed to rebuild its offensive line in free agency. They'll likely have to dedicate draft capital there because the interior of the O-line is nonexistent. If Minnesota wants to make a financially sound move to get a starter in free agency, it might be by going after the likes of Josh Kline, T.J. Lang [or] Ben Garland.

The Vikings currently have nine offensive linemen under contract, including 2018 starters Riley Reiff, Pat Elflein and Brian O’Neill.

Aviante Collins, who joined the team as an undrafted free agent tackle in 2017, worked some at left guard during the 2018 preseason before he landed on injured reserve. It remains to be seen what plans the Vikings might have for Collins in 2019.

Minnesota holds the 18th overall pick in the 2019 NFL Draft, which goes from April 25-27.

Vikings slotted 19th in CBS Sports power rankings

The 2019 NFL season is still more than five months away, meaning there is still a long, long way to go before the action happens.

Teams still have to navigate the upcoming draft, offseason workouts and training camp before we even get to preseason play and then the regular season.

But Pete Prisco of CBS Sports wanted to see where each team ranks in the middle of March, so he recently released a spring edition of his power rankings.

Prisco, who slotted the Vikings in the 19th spot, wrote:

They brought back Anthony Barr after he changed his mind about signing with the Jets, but the offensive line remains a trouble spot.

Prisco’s ranking is nearly in line with where the Vikings finished the 2018 season, as Minnesota has the 18th pick after going 8-7-1.

Vikings Head Coach Mike Zimmer is 47-32-1 in five seasons with the Vikings, but has been especially successful in odd-numbered seasons.

Zimmer guided the Vikings to an 11-5 mark and an NFC North title in 2015 before leading Minnesota to a 13-3 record and another division title (along with an appearance in the nFC Championship) in 2017.

The Vikings are the third NFC North team on Prisco’s list behind Green Bay at No. 6 and the Bears at No. 9. The Lions are ranked 29th.

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