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Todd McShay: Vikings are 1 of NFL's Most-Improved Teams After Draft

Thanks to plenty of wheeling and dealing by Vikings General Manager Rick Spielman, Minnesota ended up with 11 new players out of the 2017 NFL Draft.

And while the hope is that those players help make an impact for the Vikings, Todd McShay of ESPN believes Minnesota's roster is already improved.

McShay recently released his list of the top five most-improved teams after the draft, and the Vikings made the cut.

McShay wrote:

The Vikings didn't have their first pick until the second round, but that didn't stop them from snagging one of the most explosive players in this draft, RB Dalvin Cook, who fell further than he should have based on character and durability concerns. With Latavius Murray also in Minnesota, Cook won't have to carry the load as a rookie.

GM Rick Spielman did a nice job addressing the team's hole at defensive tackle with a high-upside player in Jaleel Johnson. He's one of the most explosive interior pass-rushers in this class and gives the Vikings some insurance if Danielle Hunter is unable to play again.



I also love the addition of center Pat Elflein. He has the versatility to play multiple positions along the interior and has the requisite experience and intelligence to make the jump from college to be an immediate NFL starter.

Cook holds Florida State's single-season rushing record and broke Warrick Dunn's career rushing record with the Seminoles. The two-time All-American totaled 4,464 yards and 46 touchdowns on 687 carries (6.5 yards per carry) and added 79 receptions for 935 yards in his college career.

Johnson was a First-Team All-Big Ten selection after leading Iowa with 10 tackles for loss and 7.5 sacks in 2016. Elflein was a First-Team All-American at center and won the Rimington Trophy as a senior at Ohio State.

See highlights from Vikings rookie minicamp here.

Lee could be surprise player for Vikings

Linebacker Elijah Lee was the second-to-last player the Vikings added in the draft.

But his impact could still be felt in Minnesota.

Chris Burke of Sports Illustrated took a look at late-round picks or undrafted free agents who could make a name for themselves, and he mentioned Lee as the Vikings best choice among rookies.

Burke said Lee will provide depth at linebacker and could also contribute on special teams.

A productive defender at Kansas State, with 110 tackles a year ago, Lee has no problem working laterally sideline-to-sideline to hunt down a ball carrier. The Vikings have built an interesting collection of second-teamers at linebacker: Lee, fourth-rounder Ben Gedeon and 2016 draft pick Kentrell Brothers. Any of them could hold the fort in a pinch.

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