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So, let me get this straight. Lots of moves prior to free agency. Drop Linval Joseph and Xavier Rhodes. Extend [Kirk] Cousins … check. [Place franchise tag] on [Anthony] Harris … check. Re-sign [Britton] Colquitt and [C.J.] Ham … check. Trade [Stefon] Diggs to Bills for 1st and 5th and 6th [and a 4th in 2021], and give up a 7th. Dang. Not sure what else I missed. But this is wild. What are the chances we use the 22nd pick then shop the 25th pick for a pair of 2nds and maybe a 4th and get five-to-seven solid starters and a couple game changers in the first five rounds?
— Michael Kostelecky in Decatur, Illinois
Kudos to you, Michael, for keeping everything in line, especially with all of the flurry of moves over the past week or so. It's definitely been an eventful time over the past 10 days with numerous Vikings roster moves, beginning with the release of Linval Joseph and Xavier Rhodes.
As for your trade scenario, I do like it from a standpoint that it could allow the Vikings to add a handful of game-changers like your mentioned. Imagine this scenario: the Vikings get a player they love at 22, but then feel like they can trade back from 25 and get more picks in rounds 2 and 3. Minnesota currently has five picks in the first 105 selections … but if they get that to six or seven, they could really inject some young talent into the roster.
And, if the Vikings can really hit on five or so of those picks and find instant-impact players, they can keep this successful run going. I got another email the other day asking if the Vikings were rebuilding or reloading … and I tend to go with the latter.
There are still experienced and ascending players on this roster on defense (Harrison Smith, Danielle Hunter, Anthony Barr, Eric Kendricks, Harris) and offense (Adam Thielen, Dalvin Cook, Cousins, Kyle Rudolph, Brian O'Neill). And while some notable names are no longer here, this is still a competitive roster in my eyes.
With the loss of Linval Joseph, does Ifeadi Odenigbo (number 95) move into a stronger position? He certainly showed some strong stuff.
— Jon Kamstra
View the top photos of Vikings DE Ifeadi Odenigbo from the 2019 season.
There could certainly be an increased role for Ifeadi in 2020, but I'd say that is more contingent on whether or not Everson Griffen returns to Minnesota in free agency. If Griffen is gone, then perhaps Odenigbo slides in as a starting defensive end.
As for Joseph's role, I'd say that is likely to be filled by Michael Pierce, whom the Vikings signed last week. He's known as a run-stuffer, and helped the Ravens finish in the top 5 in rushing defense in three of the past four years. He's also listed at 340 pounds, so he could be a guy that plugs up the middle for the defensive line.
Now that Stefon Diggs is no longer a Viking, do you think that either Bisi Johnson or Chad Beebe is capable of stepping up? Or do they bring in someone through the draft?
— Phil Zupetz in Monroe, North Carolina
View the top photos of Vikings WR Bisi Johnson from the 2019 season.
I think you're spot on with your email, Phil. Thielen will obviously be looked at as the No. 1 WR, with Johnson and Beebe likely getting chances for bigger roles in 2020. But with those aforementioned five picks in the first 105 selections and 12 total picks at the moment, the Vikings certainly are in a position to bolster their WR group via a deep and talented class of pass catchers.
The general consensus around the league is that wide receiver is among the most talented position groups out of all of them in the 2020 NFL Draft. We'll be looking at WR draft prospects this week as part of our draft preview coverage, so keep an eye on Vikings.com.
Boy oh boy, that's one gutsy move from our GM … we get four draft picks for Diggs. That [first-round] pick at 22 could land us [Oregon QB] Justin Herbert. What are the chances we re-acquire Kyle Sloter … he could be a good fit behind Cousins and he knows the system. Cheers and keep well.
— Nicholas Balkou
With Cousins getting an extension and the Vikings announcing Thursday evening that they have re-signed Sean Mannion as a backup, I don't know if Sloter is in the team's plans. He was here and had his chance, but the team has since moved on.
Perhaps the Vikings use a draft pick on a QB, however, to compete with Mannion and Jake Browning behind Cousins. Mannion might not be the flashiest player in the league, but he knows his role and seemed to be a perfect complement as Cousins' backup inn 2019.
And all the best to you and those close to you, Nicholas. These are certainly trying times for all of us as we navigate these different and challenging times. Stay safe and healthy, Vikings fans.