The 2020 NFL Draft board fell in a favorable fashion for the Vikings, who snagged LSU receiver Justin Jefferson from the 22nd overall spot.
CBS Sports' Josh Edwards recently highlighted 10 draft picks that he believes are "perfect fits" for their respective teams, and he included Jefferson in the group. Edwards wrote:
Minnesota traded away Stefon Diggs this offseason, which gave the illusion that opposing defenses were closing in on Adam Thielen. Jefferson will force them to remain honest. Jefferson primarily worked out of the slot last season but shows the ability play outside. [Vikings Offensive Coordinator] Gary Kubiak's system will lead defenses in one direction, allowing the LSU product to work across the field. His best attribute is his ability after the catch. Kubiak will give him those chances.
Edwards also pointed to Detroit and said cornerback Jeffrey Okudah, whom the Lions selected third overall, will be a perfect fit for the NFC North rival under Head Coach Matt Patricia.
Desmond Trufant and Okudah are a better cornerback tandem than what Detroit had last season. Okudah is a passionate, physical cornerback on the edge that is willing to fly in on run support. The Patriot way has called for depth and athleticism in the defensive backfield. The Lions took strides toward that goal.
The other eight draft picks included by Edwards were as follows:
DT Javon Kinlaw (49ers), LB Patrick Queen (Ravens), RB Clyde Edwards-Helaire (Chiefs), WR Michael Pittman, Jr. (Colts), G Damien Lewis (Seahawks), LB Zack Baun (Saints) and TE Adam Trautman (Saints).
Sessler asks 'burning Qs' for each NFC team post-draft
With the first wave of free agency and the NFL Draft now in the rear-view mirror, which questions still face teams as they look ahead and begin to prepare – albeit virtually – for the 2020 NFL season?
NFL.com's Mark Sessler tackled the NFC earlier this week and posed one “burning question” for each team in the conference.
When it came to Minnesota, Sessler wondered if there's any possibility of defensive end Everson Griffen returning to the Vikings roster. Sessler wrote:
The Vikings added a whopping 15 players through the draft, filling needs at cornerback, wideout and along the offensive line.
Sessler pointed out that while Minnesota did draft South Carolina pass rusher D.J. Wonnum in the fourth round, there still would be room "for the return of Griffen, who remains an unsigned free agent."
The veteran edge rusher recently offered a "never say never" response to rejoining Minnesota, per NFL Network's Tom Pelissero. Packed in as a factor, the Vikings – who were candidates to trade for expensive left tackle Trent Williams — found their bookend in rookie Ezra Cleveland. That leaves the books clean for Griffen, who has plenty left in the tank to help a defense that waved goodbye to a laundry list of veterans.
What did Sessler have to say about the Vikings division rivals?
He asked if running back D'Andre Swift, whom the Lions drafted 35th overall, will "add a dose of much-needed identity" to Detroit's offense; if the Packers are "truly content at wide receiver" after not drafting one with any of nine picks; and whether Chicago's offense will take a step forward in 2020.
ESPN identifies 'biggest roster holes' for all 32 teams
Keeping with the theme of the previous topic, which positions on teams' rosters could stand for further reinforcement?
Football Outsiders on ESPN identified the “biggest roster holes” for all 32 teams.
In looking at the Vikings, Bryan Knowles pointed to guard. He wrote:
With 15 picks, the Vikings did a lot of work overhauling a roster that was gutted by salary-cap constraints, replacing Stefon Diggs, providing much-needed secondary help and shoring up offensive tackle. One area in which they didn't significantly improve, however, was the interior offensive line. Oregon State's Blake Brandel and Washburn's Kyle Hinton are late-round projects, and neither is likely to challenge Pat Elflein or Dru Samia anytime soon.
Elflein started for the Vikings at left guard last season, and the right guard spot is open after Minnesota released Josh Kline. Dru Samia was a 2019 draft pick by the Vikings and could take a step forward in year two.
The Vikings have said there will be open competition at both guard spots for 2020.
Knowles said it's possible that Dakota Dozier could earn one of Minnesota's starting guard positions, adding the Vikings were "bullied" in the trenches by San Francisco's dynamic defense in the Divisional round playoff game last season.