The Minnesota Vikings made it to the playoffs this season, against all odds and against everyone's expectations. Coming off major knee surgery, running back Adrian Peterson came just short of breaking the single-season rushing record and the aging defense didn't look like they even deserved the "aging" label.
Still, they're one season removed from a top five pick, and they'll need to be successful in free agency as well as have another good draft when the 2013 selection process rolls around.
Matthew Fairburn of SB Nation released his latest mock draft on Monday, and he has the team going with the offensive side of the ball, drafting Cordarrelle Patterson, wide receiver out of Tennessee:
Minnesota's offense may be built around Adrian Peterson, but it's apparent it needs speed on the outside at receiver. Cordarrelle Patterson is a burner who can start his career as a vertical threat and gadget player. The draft is very deep on defense, so Minnesota can look to improve that side of the ball in later rounds.
At that point in the draft, Patterson might just fit the best player available label, and he also fills a need. As noted, Peterson played out of his mind in 2012, but the Vikings routinely faced teams stacking against the run because they didn't fear quarterback Christian Ponder.
When Percy Harvin went down with an injury, they feared the passing game even less. Patterson is a hugely athletic talent and he should be a big part of the Minnesota offense from day one, if they manage to snag him in the draft. However, there is some sentiment that he could go earlier.
Head to Daily Norseman to discuss the draft, as they've switched into full-on offseason mode.