Minnesota Vikings NFL Draft Fantasy Preview
The Vikes Will Look To Bolster The Offensive Line Early in the Draft
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Last season everything seemed to fall into place for the Minnesota Vikings. Sam Bradford went down to injury, in stepped Case Keenum, who put together a Pro Bowl caliber season. Dalvin Cook went down to injury, Jerick McKinnon and Latavius Murray presented a great one-two punch. All this coupled with the strong play from the Vikings defense garnered a playoff appearance for the team in 2017.
Gone is Keenum, in steps prized free agent Kirk Cousins. He inherits a team that is more talented than any he previously had with the Washington Redskins. With weapons like Stefon Diggs, Adam Thielen, and Kyle Rudolph at his disposal, expect a fine year for Cousins. He has the potential to provide you with 35 touchdowns and over 4,500 yards through the air. Cousins will be drafted as a mid-tier QB1, but by season’s end, don’t be shocked to see his name around the Top 3 at the position.
Gone is McKinnon, but back from an ACL injury comes last year’s first-round pick in Cook. Before going down Cook looked like the back the Vikings hoped they were getting: A player that can be on the field for all three downs and can score points with both his rushing and receiving abilities. I expect to see Cook picked as an RB2 in most drafts, but don’t be shocked to see him return RB1 value by the end of the year. Don’t forget about Murray either. He will be in a rotation with Cook for most of the year and his touchdown potential alone gives him strong value in standard formats. Murray will have some appeal as a Flex option or player to plug in based on matchups.
The offense could use some help along the line, but most attention will be paid to finding depth for this defense. Playing the hard-hitting style of defense that they are known for, it can only help the potential of this team to keep players fresh. The Vikings should use some of that thought process with their secondary.
Team Needs: OL, CB, S
Projected Top Three Picks
First Round: Connor Williams, OG Texas
Second Round: Tarvarus McFadden, CB Florida State
Third Round: Oren Burks, LB Vanderbilt
With the emphasis on getting help along the offensive line, the Vikings will take Connor Williams to further solidify the unit. Williams uses great technique to get centered on his blocks and maintain leverage. He can tend to get stiff-legged from time to time, allowing for quicker defenders to get by. Williams is a great run blocker, and will help with the development of Cook. Williams will be just another piece to get this offensive line where it needs to be, allowing Cousins the ample time to get the ball in the hands of his playmakers.
The picks of Tarvarus McFadden and Oren Burks will be depth choices to play in rotational roles with the potential to be every-week starters. McFadden is a good press coverage corner that will fit in Mike Zimmer’s scheme well. If he can become a better tackler, McFadden has the skills to be a reliable second cornerback. Oren Burks is a linebacker that has risen up the draft board during the process. Burks must prove he can play in different sub-packages before finding a clear role in this defense. His tackling is adequate, but his coverage skills are less than stellar. Both McFadden and Burks will have no impact in Fantasy for the 2018 season.
Connor Williams Featured Image: (AP Photo/Michael Thomas)
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