The Minnesota Vikings are on the edge of breaking out. By Week 4 they had matched their win total of 2011. Heading into Week 6 they were tied for first in the NFC North with the Chicago Bears at 4-1, and fans were actually using the "p-word" in their conversations about the Vikings. Now they find themselves 5-2 heading toward the halfway point of the season.
With an entire offseason to develop this team, head coach Leslie Frazier appears to have the Vikings moving in the right direction. Working with general manager Rick Spielman, they have put together a roster built with a foundation of talented young players. Using the rosters listed each year from Pro-Football-Reference.com, the average age of the Vikings this season is 25.7—that's the youngest roster for the Vikings since 1967. This roster has 26 players with four years NFL experience or less, including eight players from each of the last two drafts.
Spielman and Frazier cleaned house, parting ways with several veterans, including guards Steve Hutchinson and Anthony Herrera, cornerback Cedric Griffin, linebacker E.J. Henderson and kicker Ryan Longwell.
Building a team this way takes patience. With youth sometimes comes a steep learning curve. So even though the Vikings may be one or two pieces of the puzzle away from a serious playoff run, don't expect Spielman and company to pull the trigger on any major trades as the trading deadline approaches the Tuesday following Week 8.
Still, that doesn't mean fans cannot dream about the deal that will bring a superstar to the Vikings, leading the team to all the way to a Super Bowl championship.
Bringing it down a notch, here's a look at some potential trade targets the Vikings might consider to assist in the process of building a successful franchise.
My focus was in areas where the Vikings could use some help—linebacker, tight end and wide receiver.