NFL.com is taking at look at the state of each division across the NFL and recently analyzed the Vikings and their counterparts in the NFC North.
Grant Gordon of NFL.com was tasked with breaking down each team's offseason so far, while also looking ahead to what the future holds for each organization.
Gordon wrote that while Minnesota has endured more roster turnover than most teams, he also expects Vikings Head Coach Mike Zimmer to have his team in the hunt as a playoff contender for the upcoming season.
With a defensive-minded coach as well-regarded as Mike Zimmer at the helm, it's difficult not to view the Vikings as a division contender or at least a Wild Card favorite (especially given the extra playoff spot that's been introduced). But Minnesota will look vastly different this season after parting ways with so many veteran starters due in large part to salary cap limitations.
Stefon Diggs is just one of the several key contributors the Vikings will have to replace in the coming months, a task made all the more difficult due to the uncertainty surrounding offseason programs. This will be a huge draft for the Vikings — in the number of picks (12 total) and their importance (five in the first three rounds).
The Vikings lost a handful of starters in free agency, especially on defense where the likes of Linval Joseph, Xavier Rhodes, Trae Waynes, Mackensie Alexander and Andrew Sendejo have signed with other teams.
Offensively, Minnesota traded Diggs to Buffalo for a handful of draft picks (including a first-rounder in 2020), and the team also released veteran guard Josh Kline.
Gordon noted that with a dozen picks in next week's 2020 NFL Draft, the onus is on Minnesota's front office, scouts and coaching staff to add talent and depth to a roster that should be in the mix for the playoffs yet again.
Minnesota has an abundance of draft capital with 12 total picks, including two late in Round 1 (Nos. 22 and 25). The most pressing concerns are along the offensive line (Kline was a starting guard), cornerback (although the group struggled last season, replacing three CBs at once is a tall order) and defensive end. And, of course, with Diggs gone and seemingly everyone touting the 2020 class as the year of the wideout, the Vikings now have a need at that spot, as well.
The Vikings have five draft picks in the first 105 selections, which includes a pair of selections in the first and third rounds, plus a second-round pick.
Krammer: CB could be Vikings biggest draft need, chances of drafting a QB
When Andrew Krammer of the Star Tribune recently answered draft-centric questions about the team, he was asked what he believes is Minnesota's biggest draft need.
Krammer opined that adding cornerbacks early and often could be an option for Minnesota, who lost the aforementioned Rhodes, Waynes and Alexander this offseason.
Without being a fly on the wall, I'd have to imagine cornerback is at or near the top of the list. Losing three starters at one position – regardless of uneven production – is a difficult turnaround in one year. Behind cornerback, the offensive line, wide receiver and the defensive line have major holes following the free-agent exodus. After leading the league with 12 draft picks last year, the Vikings again sit with 12 picks for next week.
Krammer was also asked about the chance that the Vikings add a quarterback in the draft, something the team hasn't done since 2014 when they traded up for Teddy Bridgewater at pick No. 32.
Krammer said he doesn't believe that position is a high priority for Minnesota.
Slim to none, if the Vikings track record is any indicator. While scouts have done plenty of homework on this quarterback class, Spielman has not drafted a quarterback outside the first round as GM (since 2012). The last one taken was John David Booty in 2008's fifth round. The Vikings have three quarterbacks under contract after reworking Kirk Cousins' deal and re-signing Sean Mannion, along with Jake Browning.
Cousins spoke with the Twin Cities media on Tuesday on a Zoom video call, addressing numerous topics including his contract extension and the Diggs trade.
CBS Sports Highlights Cook's Work with Vikings Table
The Vikings Table charity food truck, which was launched last year by the Minnesota Vikings Foundation with help from running back Dalvin Cook, is helping respond to the COVID-19 pandemic.
CBS Sports' Cody Benjamin spotlighted the response by Vikings Table — and a similar effort in Philadelphia by QB Carson Wentz's "Thy Kingdom Crumb" truck — while schools are closed.
Vikings Table proceeds were already set to provide free, biweekly meals to needy areas — local schools, summer camps, enrichment centers. But once Gov. Tim Walz ordered the closure of all Minnesota schools to slow the spread of the virus, many children were left without one of the last consistent sources of food in their lives: school lunch.
Suddenly, those kids — those same needy areas — weren't just a focal point of the Vikings Table. They were the point.
With $10,000 in support from Cook and another $5,000 from the NFL Foundation, the truck quickly pivoted to a pre-packaged meal delivery system. The truck itself is still being used to prepare meals, which include sandwiches and a side of fruit and/or veggies, and then another smaller vehicle takes them directly to The Open Door, a nearby nonprofit pantry. From there, the meals are distributed — 100 at a time, every weekday — to hungry homes.