Three Positions the Minnesota Vikings May Be Eying in the 2022 NFL Draft

Mike Zimmer
Oct 3, 2021; Minneapolis, Minnesota, USA; Minnesota Vikings head coach Mike Zimmer looks on from the sidelines in the second quarter against Cleveland Browns at U.S. Bank Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Matt Blewett-USA TODAY Sports

Obviously, the 2022 NFL Draft is still a long ways away. We are still months away from the college football season coming to an end, and even further from the NFL season’s end. However, the Minnesota Vikings find themselves on bye this week, meaning there isn’t a ton of current news to talk about. Because of that, seeing as yours truly is an editor of PurpleTerritory’s NFL Draft team, why not do a little speculating about spring 2022?

This upcoming draft could be one of the more interesting ones in a long time. The 2021 NFL Draft had high profile quarterback talent up and down the class. The Vikings partook of this QB talent by selecting Kellen Mond in the third round following their trade that landed them Christian Darrisaw in the first round. Due to the struggles of Spencer Rattler though, there is a high probability that there won’t be a single quarterback taken in the top five in 2022. With that lack of QB presence, it opens the door to a lot more volatility near the top. Before we get ahead of ourselves though, let’s get on to the topic at hand. Here are three positions the Vikings could be looking at in spring 2022.

Cornerback

Mike Zimmer will be pleased with this one. The Vikings head coach has historically had a propensity for gathering as many defensive backs as possible. 2021 didn’t bring quite as much of an emphasis on that area of the field, but the Vikings had very little need given how much time and effort went these positions in free agency.

Minnesota signed Patrick Peterson, Bashaud Breeland, Mackensie Alexander, and Xavier Woods this offseason, but all three are on one-year deals. They gave Harrison Smith an earned extension as well, but the four other veterans are due to hit free agency. If the Vikings can’t add more veteran presence once again, the draft should be loaded with cornerback talent, highlighted by probable top-five selection, Derek Stingley Jr.

Linebacker

The Vikings have their star in Eric Kendricks, but outside of that, this linebacker group is thin following 2021. Anthony Barr’s restructured contract has him set to enter free agency this offseason, and Nick Vigil’s deal will also expire. It’s unfortunate, but Barr feels like an unlikely returner following this season unless he puts together an incredible post-bye stretch.

Barr finally returned to action in week 5 after missing 18 consecutive games with injury. Barr’s had some nice moments since his return, but often has been relegated to a non-impact role. He will likely be looking to make one more big deal, and the Minnesota Vikings probably won’t be the ones giving it to him.

2021 third-round selection Chazz Surratt may have a role in replacing Barr, but it will be likely the Minnesota again targets the linebacker position in 2022. Someone like Kingsley Enagbare could be an intriguing early round selection at the outside linebacker position.

Center

The Minnesota Vikings were aggressive in their approach towards solidifying their offensive line this year. They traded their first-round pick to move back in that round as well as acquire additional third-round selections, and used that first-rounder on Christian Darrisaw while taking Wyatt Davis with one of the third-rounders. Then, they locked down RT Brian O’Neill on a massive extension.

Darrisaw looked very good in his first career start against Carolina, and we may be fast approaching the Wyatt Davis era at RG if Oli Udoh’s downward trend continues. However, Minnesota likely still has one position to fix before they can truly feel comfortable in their o-line: center.

The Garrett Bradbury experiment continues to look like a failure early on in 2021, and unless there is a drastic change over the next 11 weeks, we may be seeing the end. On top of that, Mason Cole is a free agent this offseason, leaving a void at the position. The youth movement has worked thus far with Darrisaw, so perhaps they’ll target someone like Alec Lindstrom in the second or third round this upcoming spring.

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