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Potential DL Targets For The Vikings In This Year’s NFL Draft

ESPN’s Ben Goessling offers some suggestions for the Vikings should they elect to pass on a quarterback in round one and instead look to bolster their defensive line.

Goessling lists Notre Dame DT Louis Nix, Minnesota DT Ra’Shede Hageman, Missouri DE Kony Ealy and Notre Dame DE Stephon Tuitt as guys who could make sense for Mike Zimmer’s new defensive system.

  • Goessling mentions that grabbing a guy like Louis Nix could take a lot of pressure off of 2013 first-round pick Sharrif Floyd while filling a hole left by veteran DT Pat Williams.
  • Goessling believes local product Ra’Shede Hageman could “pique the Vikings’ interest” based on his size and overall athleticism, even though he could end up being a better fit in a 3-4 system.
  • Goessling mentions that Kony Ealy and Stephon Tuitt both offer the type of size that Zimmer is use to having from his time in Cincinnati.

The Vikings locked up DE Brian Robison to a contract extension during the season, however, DE Jared Allen, DT Kevin Williams and DE Everson Griffen are all set to test the open market in the coming weeks.

With that in mind, it makes sense that defensive line would be among the team’s top priorities this offseason. Some have mentioned that Minnesota could try to bring in Bengals DE Michael Johnson in free agency as it appears unlikely that he will back in Cincinnati next year.

We have the Vikings addressing the quarterback position and selecting UCF QB Blake Bortles in the first-round of out 2014 NFL Mock Draft.

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