The Free Press, Mankato, MN


May 2, 2014

Courrier: Vikings should continue building defense in draft


Last year, the Vikings bolstered the defense by using first-round draft picks on tackle Sharrif Floyd and cornerback Xavier Rhodes. Given some of the prolific offenses in the NFC North, you can’t spend too many resources on defense. You’ve already hired a defensive-minded head coach in Mike Zimmer.

Going into the offseason, it seemed there were three quarterbacks who would be taken at the top of the draft, but upon further inspection, Johnny Manziel, Blake Bortles and Teddy Bridgewater have had enough flaws exposed that it’s hard to justify using a top pick on any of the three. The Vikings missed on Christian Ponder back in 2011, and that mistake can’t be repeated. By signing Matt Cassel in the offseason, the quarterback play will be good enough, provided the defense makes strong improvement. Using that first-round pick on the defense would be another step in building a shut-down crew.

Chad Courrier is a Free Press staff writer. To contact him, call 507-344-6353, e-mail at or follow his Twitter feed @ChadCourrier.

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