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NFL Draft 32 for 32 - Minnesota Vikings

When it comes to Kirk Cousins' first season in Minnesota, mixed reviews would probably be the description. Although he finished as QB9 in fantasy (4,298 yards and 31 total TDs), much more was expected from not only fantasy owners but the Vikings fans themselves. His weekly performances were all over the place. He had five weeks on the season where he ranked inside the Top 10 at the position. But on the flip side, he had six weeks in which he finished 21st or worse. That has to change in 2019 if the Vikings are to find any success. You can't place any blame on his supporting cast as both Adam Thielen and Stefon Diggs are arguably WR1s themselves. Cousins is a low-end QB1, that based on the players around him should be an upper tier player in drafts. His value will come down in drafts in 2019, making him a solid bounce-back candidate.

The area in which the Vikings truly struggled last season was in the running game. The team was playing the cautious route with Dalvin Cook coming back from injury. He played in 11 games but carried a respectable 4.6 YPC and hauled in 40 receptions. He is a back that could be somewhat overlooked in drafts based on 2018, but a full year removed from his ACL injury, Cook could be back to the player we saw early in 2017. He will need a new backfield this season with Latavius Murray and his vulture ways off to New Orleans.

Going into the draft, I expect to see the Vikings really focus on the offensive side of the ball. Some offensive line issues need to be addressed with this team as well as the depth at running back behind Dalvin Cook. They could jump into the receiver pool in this draft and take a look at the tight ends to pair with Kyle Rudolph also for depth purposes.

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Top Three Projected Selections

First Round- Cody Ford, OT Oklahoma (18th overall)
Second Round- Chase Winovich, DE Michigan (50th)
Third Round- Benny Snell, RB Kentucky (81st)

Remaining Picks
Fourth Round- 120th
Sixth Round- 190th, 209th
Seventh Round- 247th, 250th


Needs Analysis

Looking to add some new life to an offensive line that ranked 23rd in run blocking in 2018, I have the Vikings taking Cody Ford. He is still somewhat raw and inexperienced, but he has the rare combination of physical and athletic traits that leave teams salivating. He can play at either tackle or guard at the pro level and easily can open up gaps in either position. He will likely be utilized at guard in an effort to beef up the stagnant Vikings run game in 2019. If the offensive line can improve just a small bit, Dalvin Cook could certainly provide RB1 numbers this year.

With the second pick, Chase Winovich provides the Vikings with another defensive end to add into a rotation in need. With Danielle Hunter and Everson Griffen handling most of the pass rushing duties, Winovich could file in as a run stopping specialist. He is a physical player that is relentless on the field. He has a great first step off the ball and uses a strong technique to get into the backfield on the ball carrier. His addition adds another vital piece to a defense that will be one of the higher units selected in fantasy.

In the third round, the team may just find their replacement for Latavius Murray by selecting Benny Snell. He is a strict downhill runner that lacks elusiveness. He does have above average vision and runs with power, which helps him create extra yardage. He can do an excellent job as a complementary back in the Vikings offense. He can spell Cook when needed, but also has the skill to be the primary ball carrier. His fantasy value in 2019 could be as a potential handcuff for Cook owners. But as a dynasty asset, Snell has some upside that is worth grabbing in late round two, early round three in rookie drafts.

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