Video: Sports Illustrated's Vikings NFL Draft Preview

Will Ragatz

The NFL Draft is less than three weeks away, and it's going to be a pivotal one for the Minnesota Vikings. SI team reporter Will Ragatz joined host Robin Lundberg to discuss the current state of the Vikings, their needs in the upcoming draft, and some potential targets to watch in the first round. Check it out in the video above.

Also make sure to check out the latest draft preview content from InsideTheVikings:

The transcript of the video is below.

Robin Lundberg: We're getting you set for the NFL Draft by going team by team, and I'm joined now by our Vikings reporter Will Ragatz. Now Will, we know they've got Kirk Cousins solidified at this point. What's the state of the franchise heading into the draft?

Will Ragatz: Well the Vikings are in an interesting place, Robin. They've made some moves this offseason that suggest they plan on contending again in 2020; they extended Kirk Cousins, they franchise-tagged star safety Anthony Harris. But at the same time, they've made a lot of moves that suggest they're reloading if not rebuilding next year. They lost three starting corners in Xavier Rhodes, Trae Waynes, and Mackensie Alexander, two starters on the defensive line, including Everson Griffen, and they surprisingly released right guard Josh Kline, so they're kind of straddling the line right now between win-now and reloading on some talent.

RL: So the draft could be a way to address both of those things. Are there particular positions of need you think they're specifically looking at?

WR: Yeah it's interesting, it's almost easier to ask which positions aren't positions of need, which is kind of unusual for a team coming off of a divisional round appearance. But cornerback is the main one, that's one of Mike Zimmer's favorite positions and right now there are only two players on the roster who have ever started an NFL game, in Mike Hughes and Holton Hill. So that's going to be a target early. Wide receiver is also a big one after the Stefon Diggs trade, which they got a good return for, setting them up with another first round pick. And they added Tajae Sharpe from the Titans, but they do need another legit weapon to complement Adam Thielen. And then both the offensive and defensive line could use upgrades at talent as well.

RL: Is there any player that you've had them linked to?

WR: Well, at cornerback, Jeff Okudah from Ohio State and CJ Henderson from Florida are probably going to be gone by the time they pick at 22 and 25, so two names that have come up a lot are Kristian Fulton from LSU and Jeff Gladney from TCU. Both of those guys would make the Vikings a lot better right away with their experience. At receiver, if they go in the first round LSU's Justin Jefferson could be a target. This is a deep receiver class, so they may wait until the second or third round for that. And then up front on the offensive line, Houston tackle Josh Jones is someone who's been linked to the Vikings a lot. He could be the left tackle of the future, stepping in for Riley Reiff in a couple years.

RL: There's your Minnesota Vikings draft preview, Will, appreciate your time.

WR: Thanks for having me.

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