The 2014 NFL Draft is in the books and the Minnesota Vikings have made their selections for this season. The Vikings ended up with ten picks in the end including the selections of Anthony Barr and Teddy Bridgewater during the first round. It is what the team did after that which could have a major impact on this season.
Minnesota took defensive end Scott Crichton in the third round with the No. 72 pick and he appears to be a great piece to have rotating in to give the starters some rest. Crichton had 22.5 sacks in three years at Oregon State but his tackle numbers were down the last two seasons. That can be slightly concerning but he was a strong overall player for the Beavers. He will find himself giving Emerson Griffen and Brian Robison a break every so often.
The Vikings then took Georgia Southern running back Jerick McKinnon with the final pick of the third round at No. 96. This is a very interesting pick because McKinnon can play a number of different positions offensively and likely looks like a Wildcat-style player only to start with. He is going to be needed however to backup Adrian Peterson and did run a 4.37 40 at the combine. He will have to be the change of pace back behind Peterson this year.
After not having a pick in the fourth round, the Vikings may have got one of the biggest steals in the draft during the fifth round at No. 145 with the selection of Stanford guard David Yankey. Here is a monster of a man at 6-6, 315 pounds who could easily find himself starting for Minnesota sooner than later. His job is very simple for the Vikings. He must open up holes for Peterson in the running game especially if Bridgewater ends up starting at some point this season.
The Vikings finished the draft with sixth-round picks Antone Exum and Kendall James, who are both defensive backs. In the seventh round, defensive tackle Shamar Stephens will selected at No. 220 followed by linebacker Brandon Watts at 223 and cornerback Jabari Price at 225. That would leave the Vikings with seven defensive players including three cornerbacks in the later rounds.
It is obvious that slowing down the NFC North’s passing game is a huge key to this upcoming season. Minnesota finished 31st against the pass last year. It is likely that at least five of these players make the field next season at TFC Bank Stadium wearing Vikings jerseys. Minnesota came up with a solid draft overall.