The Minnesota Vikings entered the 2018 season as one of the favorites to take the NFC and make a run at a Super Bowl. They'd added big-money free agent QB Kirk Cousins to the fray, which was supposed to make the Vikings a more complete team.
It didn't. Instead, the team floundered and missed the playoffs, succumbing to a late season push from the Philadelphia Eagles. So what can this team do to atone for missed opportunities? Well, here's a start.
Round 1, Pick No. 18: Dalton Risner, OL, Kansas State
This team has got to get set in the trenches. There's too much at stake and too much talent on this team for the Vikings to waste it away with poor offensive line play. Risner will go a long way in helping to get things squared away. Whether you need him to play Guard or Tackle, he'd be fine at either.
But more importantly, he's a mauler who can help transform this group and infuse some much needed attitude in the middle.
Round 2, Pick No. 50: Jerry Tillery, DL, Notre Dame
Speaking of the trenches. The status of Sheldon Richardson is still up in the air, but added depth for the penetration role wouldn't hurt regardless. Tillery had a breakout senior season at Notre Dame and his blend of penetration skills, functional strength and prototypical length make him an attractive fit.
Tillery has been inconsistent in college, but there are few coaching staffs I would trust more to get out him than the one here in Minnesota.
Round 3, Pick No. 82: Jace Sternberger, TE, Texas A&M
I've found the heir to Kyle Rudolph. Sternberger is an absolute steal at this point in the draft, I was surprised to see him still around. But in a deep tight end class, someone has to fall and Sternberger was the guy in this simulation of the Draft.
Athletic. Fast. Good after the catch. Much like the Vikings receivers, Sternberger brings an athletic element into the fray for the Vikings that their current TEs simply don't offer.
Round 4, Pick No. 114: Nate Davis, OL, Charlotte
Have I mentioned the Vikings need to sort out the trenches? So with Nate Davis, you have a raw, athletic powerhouse who played out of position in college. Davis played offensive tackle, but he'll be a guard all the way in the NFL. And at this point of the draft, it's a perfect upside pick for the Vikings to not just get five good starters on the field but also establish some depth on the roster.
Round 6, Pick No. 178: Cody Thompson, WR, Toledo
Thompson is a fun player, he produced at a really high level at Toledo. He won't necessarily be a star and I don't surmise he's going to have any star-power, hence his status as a late round draft selection. But what he can be for this team is a depth receiver who has enough skill to play inside or out and be a reliable target to get open.
Modest upside but a great depth option for the Vikings to have in their back pocket behind the likes of Diggs and Thielen.