Round 1, Pick 23: Sylvester Williams, DT, North Carolina
Ultimately I could see the Vikings going a few different ways here depending on who's available, but upgrading the defensive line should be one of their bigger priorities. Williams is an athletic player with the quickness to shoot gaps and cause instant penetration.
Pairing him with veteran Kevin Williams gives Minnesota the needed size inside and potential to once again restore the ever popular "Williams Wall" in the Land of Lakes.
Round 1, Pick 25: DeAndre Hopkins, WR, Clemson
The Vikings added former Green Bay star Greg Jennings this offseason but still have a need at the wide receiver position. Jarius Wright is a good player, but his game is better suited inside in the slot, and adding Hopkins here gives the Vikings a more balanced offensive attack.
As one of the better route runners, Hopkins isn't a beat-you-deep player, but he displays fantastic hands, body control and overall football awareness to become a valuable No. 2 option. A role he can fill from Day 1 to give Christian Ponder yet another reliable target on the outside.
Round 2, Pick 52: Johnthan Banks, CB, Mississippi State
When you play in a division with wide receivers like Brandon Marshall and Calvin Johnson you better find corners with the size and length to match up physically. Banks' value has dropped because of his lack of long speed, however his ability to create turnovers is a natural skill that can't be taught. Protect him with help over the top, and Banks instantly becomes one of the better values at the cornerback position.
Round 3, Pick 83: Kiko Alonso, LB, Oregon
Currently the Vikings have a huge hole at their inside linebacker position. Alonso needs the big men in front of him to stay clean, but his ability to to read and diagnose the play quickly is just one of his many strengths. An active defender with an unwavering motor, Alonso has the natural ability to start and contribute as early as Day 1.
Round 4, Pick 102: Zac Dysert, QB, Miami (Ohio)
This one may come as a bit of a surprise seeing as the Vikings already brought in veteran Matt Cassel to push Ponder, however Dysert is nearly too good to pass up at this point. With natural throwing ability and underrated athleticism to create plays outside the pocket, Dysert is a quarterback with a ton of natural talent to challenge for starting time as early as his rookie season.
Round 4, Pick 120: Shawn Williams, S, Georgia
The Vikings hit on Harrison Smith last draft, however, now the team must focus on finding their other starting safety. Williams is a player who doesn't stand out in any one area but is simply a solid football player and a defender who instantly upgrades one of Minnesota's positions of need.
Round 5, Pick 155: Mike Catapano, Princeton
One of the hotter names in the draft right now, Catapano is receiving plenty of attention and has his draft stock peaking at exactly the right time. Minnesota doesn't need him to contribute right away; let him learn behind Jared Allen and he could develop into a valuable starter in due time.
Round 6, Pick 189: J.C. Tretter, G, Cornell
The Vikings dip back into the Ivy League talent pool to nab another quality player in Cornell's J.C. Tretter. An athletic lineman who is still learning the position, Tretter is a surprisingly sound player with plenty of upside to start later on down the line. He will need to adapt to the speed and power of the game, but if he turns out to be anything like former Ivy League player Matt Birk, this pick would have to be considered a huge success.
Round 7, Pick 213: Josh Johnson,CB, Purdue
Johnson is not well known outside of Purdue, however that does not mean he hasn't caught the attention of NFL scouts. Vikings fans will love his competitive attitude and determination to compete despite his smaller size. Qualities that should allow him to stick and contribute on special teams very early in his NFL career.
Round 7, Pick 214: Brad Wing, P, LSU
Chris Kluwe is in the final year of his contract, making the addition of Wing a worthwhile investment. One of the better directional punters, Wing's ability to pin opponents deep is a trait that instantly helps a team win the field position battle.
Round 7, Pick 229: Kwame Geathers, DT, Georgia
Geathers is a big bodied interior defensive lineman who played in the battle-tested SEC. That fact alone makes him worthy of this selection, although he hasn't always played up to his level of potential. Nevertheless, he presents a low-risk, high-reward type of player at this point in the draft.