Well, the 2016-2017 NFL season has come to an end in Minnesota. After a promising start, the injuries finally began to catch up as Zimmer’s squad dropped 8 of their last 11, finishing the year at an even 8-8 mark. After that rollercoaster ride of a season, it is time to set our sights on the ’17-’18 season, and that all starts with the upcoming offseason. If you haven’t heard or checked on the pending free agents, just know that the available offensive lineman are not near the quality necessary to immediately improve this team, and Matt Kalil is destined to hit the free agent market unless he strikes a deal to stay with the Vikings. Pro Bowl kick returner Cordarrelle Patterson is also set to be a free agent this spring, so the front office has some decisions to make. Another way Minnesota can build, obviously, is through the draft, stockpiling young talent. Here are a few guys that the Vikings should go after in this draft:
Dan Feeney (OG, Indiana)- Feeney is a two-time first team All-American Guard, facing Big Ten competition week in and week out.
Eddie Jackson (S, Alabama)- Jackson missed the second half of the season with a broken leg, which may cause him to slip a bit in the draft, and the Vikings could use some safety help to at least bring in competition.
Wayne Gallman (RB, Clemson)- Gallman is a great back and could develop into a true bell-cow back that the Vikings have needed in Adrian Peterson’s absence.
Chad Kelly (QB, Ole Miss)- Kelly, the nephew of Jim Kelly, had a bundle of off-field issues during his college days, which could lead to a huge plummet in his draft stock. Minnesota may want to bring him in and give him a shot to be a back-up to Bridgewater, or even develop him to be the QB if Teddy can’t make a full recovery. Kelly has the potential to be an NFL Quarterback if he stays out of trouble off the field.
Regardless of the offseason acquisitions and departures, I think we can expect a much better season in ’17 from the Vikings. Health will be a large factor again next season.