The Minnesota Vikings have had a pretty productive 2011 NFL Draft thus far, in this writer's opinion. The Christian Ponder pick wasn't terribly popular with "experts," but I still feel it was a good pick, and a necessary one from the Vikings' perspective. They then got the consensus best tight end in this year's draft with the selection of Kyle Rudolph.
The Vikings have seven picks remaining. . .one selection in the fourth round, and two selections in each of the fifth, sixth, and seventh rounds. . .and they still have some needs that have to be addressed.
The Vikings have a couple of areas of need on defense, specifically in the secondary, and even more specifically at the safety position. Fortunately, there is still a lot of value out there at the safety spot this late in the draft, and the Vikings might feel compelled to use their fourth-round selection on a player like Florida's Ahmad Black (who is a great playmaker but is also undersized), Clemson's Deandre McDaniel, or Iowa's Tyler Sash.
They could also look at some outside linebacker help in the event that Ben Leber leaves in free agency and they need some depth behind guys like Jasper Brinkley and Erin Henderson opposite Chad Greenway. North Carolina's Quan Sturdivant and Oregon's Casey Matthews might be guys to keep an eye on there.
If the Vikings want to continue to look to the offensive side of the football, the interior of the offensive line could use some help. The most intriguing name to fit that bill would be Texas Christian's Marcus Cannon. Cannon is huge, tipping the scales at over 350 pounds, but was diagnosed just before the draft with lymphoma. I would still like to see the Vikings roll the dice on the big guy, as he reminds me a lot of former Viking David Dixon. Georgia's Clint Bolling has some potential at that spot as well.
There are even some decent wide receivers left if the Vikings want to go that route. Names still on that list include Abilene Christian speedster Edmond Gates. . .great last name, by the way. . .Indiana's Tandon Doss, and Hawai'i's Greg Salas.
The action will resume again from Radio City Music Hall in approximately half an hour, so the wait to see how the Vikings conclude their 2011 NFL Draft is getting shorter.