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2014 NFL Draft Needs: Minnesota Vikings

Jerry Donabedian

Donabedian is an Assistant Football Editor at RotoWire. He writes and edits articles and covers breaking news. A Baltimore native, Donabedian roots for the Ravens and watches "The Wire" in his spare time.

Areas of Need

1. Quarterback

Matt Cassel and Christian Ponder are both good backups, but neither should factor into a teamís long-term plans at the sportís most important position. Meanwhile, the headliners of this yearís free agent quarterback crop are Josh McCown and Michael Vick. McCown will be 35 years old at the beginning of the 2014 season, while Vick will be 34.

2. Cornerback

Cornerback has been a problem in Minnesota for years, and that was again the case in 2013, despite some solid play from rookie first-round pick Xavier Rhodes. If the Vikings find another young corner to pair with Rhodes, they may actually stand some chance against Aaron Rodgers and the Packers offense.

3. Middle Linebacker

A pair of recent DUI arrests mean that Erin Hendersonís tenure as the Vikingsí starting middle linebacker has likely come to an end. In any case, the team could benefit from adding a more coverage-oriented middle linebacker.

Potential Targets

*Denotes player who declared with eligibility remaining

1. Quarterback

First round
-Johnny Manziel*, Texas A&M, (6-0, 210)

Second round
-Derek Carr, Fresno State (6-3, 220)
-Jimmy Garoppolo, Eastern Illinois (6-2, 225)

Third round
-Zach Mettenberger, LSU (6-5, 235)
-AJ McCarron, Alabama (6-3, 215)
-David Fales, San Jose St. (6-2, 220)

Fourth round and later
-Tajh Boyd, Clemson (6-1, 225)
-Brett Smith*, Wyoming (6-2, 205)
-Aaron Murray, Georgia (6-1, 210)

2. Cornerback

First round
-Darqueze Dennard, Mich. St. (5-11, 200)

Second round
-Justin Gilbert, OK. St. (6-0, 200)
-Jason Verrett, TCU (5-10, 176)
-Bradley Roby*, Ohio St. (5-11, 190)
-Lamarcus Joyner, FSU (5-8, 190)

Third round
-Marcus Roberson*, Florida (6-0, 195)
-Louchiez Purifoy*, Florida (6-0, 190)
-Kyle Fuller, Virginia Tech (6-0, 195)
-Stanley Jean-Baptiste, Nebraska, (6-2, 220)

Fourth round or later
-Chris Davis, Auburn (5-10, 200)
-Rashad Reynolds, Oregon State (5-10, 190)
-Deion Belue, Alabama (5-11, 185)
-Nevin Lawson, Utah St. (5-10, 190)
-Lavelle Westbrooks, Georgia Southern (6-0, 185)

3. Middle Linebacker

First round
-C.J. Mosley, Alabama (6-2, 230)

Second round
-Yawin Smallwood*, Connecticut (6-3, 240)

Third round
-Chris Borland, Wisconsin (5-11, 250)
-Shayne Skov, Stanford (6-2, 245)

Fourth round and later
-Christian Jones, Florida State (6-3, 230)
-DeDe Lattimore, South Florida (6-0, 240)
-Jeremiah George, Iowa St. (5-11, 230)
-Lamin Barrow, LSU (6-1, 230)