GRAND RAPIDS — I had so much fun playing general manager of the Minnesota Vikings a few weeks ago that I am going to do it again.
In the previous column which was written before the recent rash of player movement in the NFL, I speculated that the Vikings needed help on the offensive line (duh), cornerback and wide receiver positions.
I also talked about the quarterback position and what the Vikings will do there. I wanted them to get a quarterback that can keep defenses honest with his legs but that won’t happen now that Kirk Cousins has been signed to a two-year extension.
Now, with the Vikings being committed to Cousins, players that can make him successful are needed to surround him. That starts with a decent offensive line that can keep Cousins – a poor scrambler – upright long enough to complete passes.
I also advocated Minnesota trading running back Dalvin Cook to shore up need positions. Here is an interesting trade: Trade Cook and recently-signed Anthony Harris (who appears to be on the trading block) to a team for a shutdown cornerback, a receiver or offensive lineman, or a draft pick. With Mike Boone and Alexander Mattison available to take over the running back duties, it’s time to get players who can fill needy positions by trading from a position of strength.
While I am not sad to see Stefon Diggs leave from a team chemistry viewpoint, I am smart enough to realize that the Vikings need to find a capable replacement for him.
While Diggs was a good receiver, I think the return the Vikings received for him in the form of draft picks was outstanding. However, I hope Minnesota doesn’t plan to use a high draft choice on a receiver because they have been bad in that area ever since Randy Moss landed in their laps in 1998.
The Vikes used the No. 7 overall pick on Troy Williamson in 2005, and the No. 22 pick on Percy Harvin in 2009. That was followed by Cordarrelle Patterson being picked 29th in 2013, and Laquon Treadwell selected No. 23 in 2016.
Although Harvin was decent, the rest of the selections really were bad. They can’t afford another dud at the position.