Trading Stefon Diggs leaves the Vikings with a gaping hole at wide receiver. Will they find a replacement for Diggs in the first round of the NFL Draft?
The Vikings managed to retain Kirk Cousins in free agency but the team lost a lot of talent. Trading away Stefon Diggs leaves the Minnesota offense short on playmakers. Allowing Linval Joseph and Everson Griffen to leave in free agency could cause Mike Zimmer to target a pass rusher.
The good news for fans in Minnesota is that this year’s class of wide receiver talent is exceptional. There should be a high impact wideout available at No. 25 if the Vikings choose to go that route.
Finding an instant impact defensive lineman could be more difficult. Securing a replacement for Ifeadi Odenigbo should be a huge priority. The other positions on the defensive line are reasonably well-stocked.
The last potential need the Vikings may look to fill late in Round 1 is at cornerback. It will be difficult for Minnesota to find good value at that position at No. 25 though. That’s a need the team may be better served to look to fill later in the draft or late in free agency.
In the end, expect the Vikings to either select a wide receiver or an edge rusher. Keep a particularly close eye on the following five prospects.
5. Zack Baun, Wisconsin outside linebacker
Baun is more of an outside linebacker than a defensive end, but his ability to rush the passer from the edge will be a huge asset for the team that drafts him. Don’t be surprised if Zimmer falls in love with his combination of physicality and burst off the edge.
In a perfect world the Vikings could coach Baun up to the point where he can toggle back and forth between outside linebacker and defensive end in his rookie year. Pass rushing talent is always at a premium. Coming away with a legitimate edge rusher at No. 25 would be a coup for Minnesota.