The Minnesota Vikings had a surprisingly successful season in 2012. It turned a three-win and third worst record in the NFL season into a 10-win and playoff appearance season. Despite having one of the youngest rosters in the league, the Vikings still have work to do before it can win a championship.
The No. 1 need is wide receiver. Not one receiver on the roster is capable of keeping eight and nine defenders out of the box. The amount of traffic in close to the line of scrimmage makes Adrian Peterson's season even more magical. Jerome Simpson and Devin Aromashodu were supposed to be the home run threats when they were signed as unrestricted free agents. Neither showed enough consistency to keep the safeties and corners off of the line of scrimmage. General Manager Rick Spielman could re-sign one of them to be a fourth or fifth receiver, but there are plenty of depth receivers already on the roster. The Vikings will either fill these holes with free agents like Greg Jennings or the first or second round of the draft.
The No. 2 need is linebacker. Jasper Brinkley and Erin Henderson are unrestricted free agents this summer. Both players had good, but not great seasons. Brinkley was coming off hip surgery that forced him to miss the entire 2011 season. Henderson missed two games due to a concussion in 2012. Both players had noteworthy injuries. Both players could be re-signed, but it still needs to go out and find linebackers that will at least challenge them for starting spots.
The No. 3 need is the offensive line. Finding starters on the offensive line is not a priority, but getting depth is. Finding a starting right tackle becomes the No. 2 need if Phil Loadholt, the incumbent starter, is not re-signed. Either way, the team needs to sign or draft at least two backups along the offensive line.
The No. 4 need is cornerback. The Vikings pass defense improved greatly in 2012, but more depth is needed. Antoine Winfield is expected back for a 15th season in the NFL. Chris Cook, if he can stay out of trouble, is a starting cornerback. Josh Robinson and A.J. Jefferson are improving, but neither has proven they can start every Sunday. Marcus Sherels, who improved greatly as a kick and punt returner at the end of the year, was thrust into cornerback duty. He was picked apart by opposing quarterbacks, especially Aaron Rodgers in Week 17.
The Vikings have the 23rd pick in the first round of the 2013 NFL draft. Based on these needs some names to watch for those picks are inside linebacker Manti Te'o of Notre Dame, cornerback Dee Milliner of Alabama, offensive guard Jonathan Cooper of North Carolina, inside linebacker Alec Ogletree of Georgia, cornerback Johnathan Banks of Mississippi State, wide receiver Justin Hunter of Tennessee, wide receiver Keenan Allen of California and wide receiver Cordarrelle Patterson of Tennessee.