Minnesota Vikings: Opportunity to rebuild the defense

The Purple Gang sent Stefon Diggs to Buffalo for a bevy of draft choices. Will the Minnesota Vikings use that haul to address their defensive issues?

The Minnesota Vikings were back in the playoffs in 2019 after a disappointing 8-8 showing the previous year. But unlike Mike Zimmer’s squad that finished 13-3 in 2017 and reached the NFC title game, this Purple Gang was spearheaded by its offense. It’s safe to say that quarterback Kirk Cousins — who recently received a contract extension — and versatile running back Dalvin Cook had outstanding years.

As for Minnesota’s once-formidable defense, that was a bit of a different story. It wasn’t long ago that the team allowed the fewest total yards and points in the league. Two years later, this unit wasn’t nearly as imposing or consistent.

All that being said, general manager Rick Spielman orchestrated a quite the deal this week in sending wide receiver Stefon Diggs to Buffalo, along with a seventh-round draft pick in April, for first-, fifth- and sixth-round selections this year and a fourth-round choice in 2021. That’s quite a haul for any franchise but the team could use those choices to address their defense.

So far this offseason, the Purple Gang has released former Pro Bowl cornerback Xavier Rhodes and defensive tackle Linval Joseph. And 2015 first-round pick Trae Waynes is now a member of the Cincinnati Bengals. As for the additions, the club just agreed to a deal with former Baltimore Ravens’ nose tackle Michael Pierce.

Obviously, it remains to be seen if Spielman will be adding more players in free agency. But it’s hard to ignore the fact that the Minnesota Vikings have a dozen draft picks at their disposal — five of those in the first three rounds, including the 22nd and 25th overall selections.

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It puts the team in an ideal position to rebuild Zimmer’s pride and joy and give the team a better chance of getting back to the playoffs.

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