It's been 99 days since the 2020 season came to a close for the Vikings.
Minnesota's roster has gone through a bit of an overhaul since then, especially on defense where the Vikings have brought in some new names that include defensive tackle Dalvin Tomlinson and cornerback Patrick Peterson.
Grant Gordon of NFL.com recently took a deep dive into the Minnesota's current roster, noting top acquisitions so far plus areas that could be addressed in the draft.
Gordon wrote that Tomlinson was Minnesota's biggest addition so far, while the most notable loss was the departure of left tackle Riley Reiff.
Setting aside the Vikings apparent happiness with cornering the market on Dalvins in the NFL, the former Big Blue starter brings a huge and consistent presence to the defensive line. After four seasons in New York in which he started 64 straight games to begin his career, the 27-year-old is an experienced player who is also still in his prime years as he joins Mike Zimmer's defensive front.
The Vikings released Reiff after four seasons as the team's starting left tackle, saving $11.75 million in cap space — but creating a 6-foot-6, 305-pound hole at one of the most important positions.
Gordon opined that the loss of Reiff — who started 58 regular-season games over the past four seasons — means tackle is now the Vikings biggest priority in the 2021 NFL Draft, which will be held from April 29 to May 1.
View photos of new Vikings DT Dalvin Tomlinson who recently joined the team.
Kirk Cousins was sacked 39 times a season ago playing behind Pro Football Focus' 28th-rated pass-blocking line. While the interior was the most problematic part of the line in 2020 and still should be addressed, Reiff's departure leaves the most glaring and important 2021 need.
Gordon included an additional thought about the Vikings offense and defense:
Another notable departure was that of safety Anthony Harris, who signed with the Eagles. Harris tied for the NFL interception lead in 2019 and was the second-highest-rated safety that year, per PFF. However, the 29-year-old free-fell to 38th among safeties in 2020. Harris' replacement, former Cowboys starter Xavier Woods, is younger (25) and has the potential to develop under Zimmer's tutelage.
With Dalvin Cook, Justin Jefferson — who's coming off one of the greatest rookie campaigns ever for a wideout — Adam Thielen and Irv Smith, Cousins has a stellar corps of skill-position talent. And for as much as he's maligned, Cousins has put up good numbers for the Vikings. Offensive line and just about every level of the defense should be draft priorities, but it wouldn't be shocking to see Minnesota select a QB on the draft's second or third day.
The Vikings currently have 10 draft picks, including the No. 14 selection in the first round.
Trapasso offers insight into deep OL draft class
As Gordon mentioned above, tackle and the interior of the Vikings offensive line could be priority areas for Minnesota in the draft.
Chris Trapasso of CBS Sports recently delved into that position group and highlighted some prospects who could be names to watch on Day 3.
Trapasso wrote that these linemen might not be top-tier prospects, but they "have quality starter capabilities" in the NFL.
Trapasso began his list with Nebraska tackle Brenden Jaimes.
Jaimes is a highly athletic, well-balanced offensive tackle with loads of experience. He made 40 consecutive starts, a tremendous feat which includes nine starts as a true freshman in 2017. Jaimes has a leg up on the vast majority of offensive tackle prospects because he's a rare prospect who's better vertically setting than quick setting defensive ends. What that means is he's more impressive kick-sliding backward, like we typically see in pass protection, as opposed to asserting his will quickly after the snap on a pass play.
Trapasso also highlighted Stanford center Drew Dalman:
For zone-blocking teams, Dalman needs to be a target. He's an explosive, technically sound, agility-based center and plays with serious burst off the snap. Dalman flies to the second level and executed a variety of blocks very well at Stanford. Once he locks on, the play's over. Herculean grip strength. His only negative pass-blocking reps come due to length or weight deficiencies.
Trapasso also provided notes on Texas A&M guard/tackle Dan Moore, South Carolina guard Sardarius Hutcherson and Texas A&M guard/tackle Carson Green.
His write ups on all five prospects can be found here.