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What the Vikings Lose By Winning in Detroit


#After creating some hope that they’d make the playoffs after going 1-5 to start the season, the #Minnesota #Vikings have lost three straight and dropped to 6-9 on the season. They finish this miserable year off with a meaningless game in #Detroit against the hapless #Lions. #For a team that could use a developmental quarterback, elite pass rushers, and top offensive line prospects, winning in #Motown could set them back meaningfully in the draft.

#Here’s what they might lose by winning their final game of the season.

A potential franchise quarterback

The #Vikings currently are going to be picking 13th in the 2021 NFL #Draft. #While quarterback isn’t their top need, they do need to begin to prepare for life without #Kirk #Cousins and select his replacement if a top prospect drops to them. #While they won’t be able to land #Trevor #Lawrence or #Justin #Fields, they could have an outside shot at #Trey #Lance or #Zach #Wilson if they begin to slide down the board a bit.

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#If the #Vikings lose in #Detroit, they could end up with a top-10 pick. #This would increase the likelihood of them being able to land their quarterback of the future and allow him to develop as #Cousins’ backup in their rookie year. #If the #Vikings end up winning, they could fall back into the late teens, all but eliminating their chances of getting that franchise-type signal-caller. #Minnesota will want to end the season with a victory, but if they do that, they’ll have to hope a good developmental quarterback falls to them in the middle rounds.

#An elite pass rusher

The #Vikings definitely need some help rushing the passer, and they get a huge boost with #Danielle #Hunter returning from injury in 2021. #His loss was deeply felt, and the team struggled all season long to generate any sort of pressure on opposing quarterbacks. They also get D.J. #Wonnum in his second season, and he should be much better with the experience gained in 2020 and a full offseason under his belt.

#But the team still needs an elite edge rusher opposite #Hunter. #Ifeadi #Odenigbo struggled in his role as a starter this season and should be moved back to the bench where he has proven to be a better option coming in for a handful of plays a game. The depth behind those three is completely up in the air, and there’s no doubt there will be some new faces on the roster whether they come from the draft or free agency.

#If the #Vikings end up winning on #Sunday, their hopes of finding that edge rusher in #Round 1 will all but come to an end. #That victory would bump them down closer to the 20s, and players like #Gregory #Rousseau and #Kwity #Paye will be long gone. #If the #Vikings lose to the #Lions, they could be picking closer to the top 10, and their chances of finding one of those two potentially game-changing edge rushers available increases exponentially.

#Meaningful offensive line help

The #Vikings will be looking to bolster their offensive line through the 2020 NFL #Draft. #This area really struggled during the team’s final six games as #Cousins was under constant pressure every time he dropped back. #Minnesota has a decision to make when it comes to the left tackle position. They first need to decide if they are going to keep #Riley #Reiff for another season. #He is going into his final season with the team and is due to make over $11 million. #While he played well this year after almost being cut, that price tag will be too heavy for a team that is going to be strapped for cash.

The other decision the #Vikings will need to make is if they are going to keep #Ezra #Cleveland at guard or move him to left tackle. They drafted him to be their left tackle of the future but moved him inside to guard after #Pat #Elflein and #Dru #Samia struggled. #Cleveland’s performance was a mixed bag, so where he ultimately ends up remains to be seen.

#Whoever is available when #Minnesota picks in the first round could also go a long way in deciding the future of their offensive line. #If they lose to the #Lions and end up picking in the early teens, they could see some nice tackle prospects on the board. #Players like #Christian #Darrisaw and #Samuel #Cosmi could be on the board, and the team could see them as the long-term answer at left tackle and decide to keep #Cleveland at guard. #If they pick in that 12-14 range, they should also be almost guaranteed to see guard #Wyatt #Davis on the board. #He’s a physical blocker who looks to be a player you can plug in at either guard spot for the next decade.

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#If the #Vikings win this week, their options at these offensive line spots become murkier. The chances that #Davis or one of those tackles is available toward the middle of the draft is greatly decreased, and the #Vikings would have to settle for some second-tier options if they want to use their first pick to improve the interior of their offensive line.



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##Vikings ##Lose ##Winning ##Detroit

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