Every NFL team is gearing up for the 2017 NFL Draft by watching tape, attending college pro days and bringing in potential picks for in-house visits.
With the draft getting closer by the day, Tim Yotter of Viking Update offered his suggestions of where the Vikings could focus on next month.
Yotter said that if the Vikings want to make it back to the playoffs after missing out in 2016, they'll need reinforcements along the offensive line.
Yotter wrote that guard and center are two of Minnesota's biggest positions of need.
*Guard – The Vikings were shorthanded at guard all season last year and released Brandon Fusco and Mike Harris after the season ended. Alex Boone is set at left guard, but the Vikings need not only a guard to contend to be an immediate starter, but depth as well because they simply don't have enough of it right now. *
*Center – Joe Berger has outplayed his contract the last two years since at center, but, at age 34, the Vikings have to start the process of looking beyond his playing career. They can likely land a decent replacement on Day 3 of the draft and, considering their past success with Matt Birk and John Sullivan is the sixth round of previous drafts, there is developmental talent to be had in the late rounds. *
Yotter wrote that defensive line and linebacker help would be next on his wish list, followed by tight end and wide receiver.
Coller: Zimmer has faith in Alexander
Vikings Head Coach Mike Zimmer said last week that Mackensie Alexander will get the first shot at being Minnesota's nickel cornerback in 2017.
While it remains to be seen what Alexander does with that opportunity, Matthew Coller of 1500ESPN.com recently wrote that Zimmer's faith in the second-year player is telling.
There isn't a position in which you would trust the Minnesota Vikings' head coach's opinion more than cornerback. From coaching Deion Sanders early in his career to guiding a young Jonathan Joseph in Cincinnati to pushing Xavier Rhodes to "shutdown corner" status to knowing that Terence Newman still had a lot left in the tank, Zimmer has an impeccable record with DBs.
So when he says that 2016 second-round draft pick Mackensie Alexander can play, you're inclined to believe him, even if Alexander didn't see game action very often in his rookie year.
Alexander, a second-round pick out of Clemson, had six tackles (according to coaches' tally) and one pass defended during his rookie season.