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Monday Morning Mailbag: Evaluating The Draft

View images of each of the 10 Vikings 2015 Draft picks.

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How do you feel the first two rounds went for the Vikings? -- Paul

The first two rounds couldn't have gone much better for the Vikings, as they wound up with the draft's top cornerback – Trae Waynes – at No. 11 and then were able to select one of the linebackers on their short list in Eric Kendricks. Both players have the potential to be three-down defenders capable of helping the team against both the pass and the run. It wouldn't be surprising if both Kendricks and Waynes are in the starting lineup come Week 1, and coming away with two starters in the first two rounds is about as well as a team can do.

With all the attention to the defense in the draft, do you think the organization addressed the offense needs adequately? -- Mark Lopez

Yes, I do think offensive needs were addressed adequately. While the team went defense-defense with the Waynes-Kendricks combo in the first two rounds, they wound up with five offensive and five defensive players overall. Offensively, the Vikings selected three linemen to help fill out depth, which they struggled with last season, and perhaps one of those three will be in the mix for the starting competition at left guard. And the Vikings also added two pass catchers to the mix in TE MyCole Pruitt and WR Stefon Diggs.

Why did the Vikings draft so many offensive lineman?

-- Cody Eastman Naples, FL

As Vikings fans know, last season the team dealt depth issues along the offensive line because three starters went down with injuries. That really sapped the team's depth at the position and on other parts of the team (Joe Berger was lost on kickoff return, for example), and it was apparent that going forward depth would need to be improved heading into 2015. That's why you saw the Vikings select the three offensive tackles – TJ Clemmings, a guy many thought would go in the first round, in the fourth round, Tyrus Thompson in the sixth and Austin Shepherd in the seventh. Don't be surprised if at least one of those players is shifted inside to compete for the starting left guard position, either.

Of the picks (not named Trae Waynes or Eric Kendricks), who do you think can come in and make the biggest impact for the team right away? -- Tanner W. Mitchell, SD

Danielle Hunter. I don't expect he'll come in and take Everson Griffen's job, but I do think he can provide some depth there and, more notably, I think he has a chance to be star for Mike Priefer on special teams. He was billed as one of the best special teams players in the country at one point for LSU, and I have a feeling Priefer can find several ways to use the athleticism and skill set Hunter possesses.

With the addition of WR Stefon Diggs, who was a great kick returner for the University of Maryland, could he take the role from Cordarrelle Patterson as kickoff returner? Or could the Vikings possibly use both as returners in 2015? -- Reilly Gnadke

I suppose he could. Mike Zimmer is not one to hand out jobs before people have earned them, so we shouldn't assume that Patterson has the return job locked up. Plus, if Patterson is used more frequently on offense this season, perhaps the Vikings would be wise to lessen his load in the return game. At the end of the day, though, we have to let these rookies come in and practice before we can start giving them spots on the roster.

Did Waynes select number 26? If that's his official number going forward, I hope he knows the (little) big shoes he has to fill with that being the number of possibly the best cornerback in the history of this franchise. -- Chris Ladd

As of now, Waynes is wearing jersey No. 26, the same as Antoine Winfield. But we shouldn't let a player's jersey number influence our evaluation or perception of him. Waynes is going to be his own player, regardless of number or position. Also, keep in mind that the Vikings will roster 90 players once training camp rolls around, so it's more likely than not that someone has to wear most jersey numbers, even the numbers of former great players such as Winfield.

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