The Minnesota Vikings used a dominant defense and steady play from quarterback Case Keenum to reach the NFC Championship last season.
The Vikings led the NFL in total defense and gave up the fewest points in the league, finishing the year 13–3.
Now, Keenum is in Denver, and the Vikings replaced him by signing Kirk Cousins to a three-year, $84 million deal. They also locked up linebacker Eric Kendricks on a five-year extension.
They also get back sophomore running back Dalvin Cook, who missed the majority of the season with a knee injury.
How will they use their picks in the NFL draft? We’re breaking down every selection below.
Here's the full list of picks the Vikings hold in the 2018 draft, which will be updated as each selection is made.
Round 1, Pick 30 (No. 30 overall)
Mike Hughes, DB, UCF
Andy Benoit's grade: B-
Mike Zimmer has never had a problem with drafting corners in the first round and developing them from the bench for a year or two—just ask Trae Waynes, who now might not be signed long-term. (It was recently reported the Vikings will pick up Waynes’s $9-million fifth year in 2019. That could still happen, but now it’s not mandatory.) Hughes will be asked to play aggressive matchup zone coverage outside in Minnesota’s sturdy two-deep safety scheme.
Scouting Report: Hughes left North Carolina after his freshman season after earning a suspension for violating team rules and spent a year in junior college before emerging as a star at UCF. He’s quick, fast and competitive, playing with a physical edge despite being on the smaller side. He can be overaggressive and needs to become more consistent, but the potential to become a No. 1 corner is there. He also offers value as a punt returner.
Round 2, Pick 30 (No. 62 overall): Brian O'Neill, OT, Pittsburgh
Andy Benoit's grade: B-
There’s a vacancy at right guard after Joe Berger retired, and the Vikings will attempt to fill it either with O’Neill, an athletic but unfinished product with upside, or Mike Remmers, who slid into that spot down the stretch last year. Whoever doesn’t play guard will start at right tackle, if all goes to plan.
Round 4, Pick 2 (No. 102 overall): Jalyn Holmes, DE, Ohio State
Round 5, Pick 20 (No. 157 overall): Tyler Conklin, TE, Central Michigan
Round 5, Pick 30 (No. 167 overall): Daniel Carlson, K, Auburn
Round 6, Pick 39 (No. 213 overall): Colby Gossett, G, Appalachian State
Round 6, Pick 44 (No. 218 overall): Ade Aruna, DE, Tulane
Round 7, Pick 7 (No. 225 overall) Devante Downs, LB, California