Chris Szagola/Associated Press
Team Needs: QB, CB, LB, S
Two options seem the most likely for the Vikings at No. 8 overall. Either the team is in love with a quarterback and takes him to be the next franchise leader, or Zimmer gets another weapon with the best defensive player left on the board.
Both are attractive strategies.
The offense needs a future at quarterback, the most vital position in the game. If new offensive coordinator Norv Turner feels there's a player—such as Teddy Bridgewater, Blake Bortles or Johnny Manziel, for example—who can step in and run his offense at a high level, the Vikings have a no-brainer decision in the first round. Take the quarterback.
If not, go defense. Shore up the team's biggest weakness.
Waiting on a quarterback can be risky, but there's just as much danger in overdrafting the position (see: Christian Ponder). So if Turner doesn't love any of the first-round quarterbacks, Rick Spielman can refuse a reach and instead pluck the top defender left on his big board. In a best-case scenario, Khalil Mack falls to No. 8. He's a game-changer at outside linebacker; a dynamic player who could give the Vikings a devastating pass rush.
But there are a number of impact defensive players the Vikings will likely have a chance at acquiring in the first round, such as Aaron Donald (the next Geno Atkins?), Anthony Barr, C.J. Mosley, Ha Ha Clinton-Dix or Justin Gilbert.
In the end, how the Vikings rate the top quarterbacks will determine the beginning of their draft. Minnesota will either invest another first-round pick on the position or continue the rebuild on defense.