With only three short weeks left before the Minnesota Vikings open the regular season against Jacksonville (Sept. 9) the preseason and training camp have revealed some holes that the Vikings need to fix.
While I am not completely writing off the team's chances of challenging this year for an NFC North title, the Vikings didn't exactly reload this offseason.
The biggest offseason free agent signings were TE John Carlson and WR Jerome Simpson, who will be pieces to the puzzle in 2012, but I don't see them putting the Vikings over the top.
Instead the 2012 draft class, led by first-round picks LT Matt Kalil and S Harrison Smith, may be the best additions to a team rebuilding.
Certainly there are other reasons to be optimistic as Vikings fans with Christian Ponder's progress, Adrian Peterson's seemingly miraculous recovery from an torn ACL, Percy Harvin and Kyle Rudolph emerging as go-to weapons, Jared Allen's return from the NFL sack record, etc., but fans need to be realistic with their expectations in 2012.
History does show that there have been teams that have gone from worst to first in their division. However, the Vikings play in a very difficult NFC North division, so accomplishing that feat in 2012 is highly unlikely. But I think they could do it in 2013.
Since most "experts" seem to think that the Vikings will finish with a 6-win, last-place NFC North season, I will operate under the same assumption with these draft-pick options.
Six victories would give the Vikings anywhere between the fifth to 10th pick in the 2013 draft.
Here are five prospects that could play on day one and be an integral part of a Vikings 2013 NFC North title run.
2013 Vikings Draft Picks (just in case you were wondering)
Round - Original Owner of Pick
1st Round - Vikings
2nd Round - Vikings
3rd Round - Vikings
4th Round - Vikings
5th Round - Vikings
6th Round - Vikings keep pick that was originally traded in McNabb deal
6th Round - from Tennessee
7th Round - Vikings