The State of the Vikings:
The Minnesota Vikings have a new head coach, Kevin O’Connell, and a new general manager, Kwesi Adofo-Mensah, looking to establish their new regime with a strong draft. The Vikings switched to a 3-4 defense, and while their edge pairing is strong, they need some reinforcements along the defensive line and at cornerback. Their offense is essentially set at the skill positions, but their offensive line could still use some work, particularly at guard.
Stingley has the man coverage, athleticism, and ball skills to be an NFL defense’s No. 1 cornerback, but his injury history and dip in on-field production since his freshman year are concerns that need to be vetted.
The Vikings have a glaring need at cornerback and have a former All-Pro in Patrick Peterson to help mold Stingley into the high-upside player he can become.
Hamilton is a versatile safety who impacts all three levels of the field and is a rangy playmaker with the cover skills, speed, and athleticism to be an elite-level defender against both the run and pass.
Hamilton has been falling in recent projections, but he adds a ton of value on the back end of a defense and if the Vikings aren’t sold on Camryn Bynum as Harrison Smith’s running mate, the fellow Fighting Irishman offers a ton of value.
Leal is an athletic and agile defensive lineman at his size, who offers great versatility as a pass rusher but needs to work on his interior run defense to keep that flexibility on all three downs.
With the Vikings moving to a 3-4, they need quality 5-techs who can handle the linemen and allow Danielle Hunter and Za’Darius Smith to rush the passer. Leal could be a great fit with quality run defenders all around him to help take some of the run burden off his shoulders.
Moore is a lightning-quick receiver with room to grow and the innate skills that allow him to be a dynamic playmaker for a creative offense at the next level, especially if his refinement and development go as planned.
Kevin O’Connell usually had three high-end receivers to work with while in Los Angeles and adding Moore to the Vikings offense would take them to another level. While K.J. Osborn did well in the role last year, Moore gives Cousins another explosive playmaker to utilize.
Strange has the reactive athleticism to mirror defenders, consistent leg drive to move them, and the nastiness to finish through the whistle, but he’ll need to improve his balance, footwork, and awareness to maximize his potential.
The Vikings had a revolving door of revolving doors at right guard last year, and Cole Strange could be a great fit. A small-school player who has the athleticism to work in a zone scheme and some much-needed nastiness.
Dulcich isn’t the shiftiest route runner or most technically refined run blocker, but he’s a converted wide receiver with good competitive toughness and the strong all-around skill set of a potential starter.
One of the underrated players on the Vikings’ 2021 team was Tyler Conklin, and with him moving on to the Jets, the Vikings could look for his replacement here. Pairing him with Irv Smith would give the Vikings flexibility and keep their offensive dynamic.
To learn more about the Vikings and their needs, visit their team page on our NFL Draft website here.