Keith Srakocic/Associated Press
Round 1, Pick No. 8: Aaron Donald, DT, Pittsburgh
More than anything, the Vikings need the most talented player who fits their defense and has value in stopping offenses through the air.
Aaron Donald would be Minnesota's most disruptive defensive tackle from day one, certainly its best pass-rusher from the interior. He would be very effective under Mike Zimmer.
Round 2, Pick No. 40: Teddy Bridgewater, QB, Louisville
Bridgewater falling out of the first round looks increasingly likely. His pro-day performance and reportedly subpar interviewing are tough to overlook for teams.
Minnesota could have its eye on Bridgewater if it opts for defense first. It could even trade back into the first round for another selection on Thursday night, as Rick Spielman is known to do.
Round 3, Pick No. 72: Bashaud Breeland, CB, Clemson
Adding talent to the current stock of cornerbacks is a must. Getting out of this draft with a viable starter who can play on the outside would be optimal.
Adding Bashaud Breeland would mean having two physical cornerbacks, with him and Xavier Rhodes. Zimmer could be even more aggressive on the outside.
Round 3, Pick No. 96: Christian Kirksey, OLB, Iowa
The group of linebackers on the roster lack special coverage or pass-rushing traits. Christian Kirksey would solve the former.
Kirksey would immediately be the most reliable coverage linebacker. His athleticism, instincts and awareness will put him on the field immediately.
Round 4, Pick No. 108: Devonta Freeman, RB, Florida State
Early on in the third day is when Minnesota is most likely to pull the trigger on a running back. The draftee probably won't be a like-for-like switch with Toby Gerhart.
Devonta Freeman is more of the scat-back type. He's valuable to Minnesota as a viable pass-blocker and receiver out of the backfield.
Round 5, Pick No. 148: Kenny Ladler, S, Vanderbilt
The rest of the third day picks are about depth and competition. Adding a safety to push incumbent Jamarca Sanford makes sense.
Ladler is a smart, instinctive safety who always ends up around the ball. Some athletic limitations will cause him to drop to Day 3.
Round 6, Pick No. 184: Ethan Westbrooks, DE, West Texas A&M
Depth at defensive end should be a target on the third day as Corey Wootton is signed only through the 2014 season.
Ethan Westbrooks has a physical demeanor and a solid body type. He's relatively raw and inexperienced, needing quite a bit of coaching in terms of technique.
Round 7, Pick No. 223: Austin Wentworth, OG, Fresno State
Offensive line depth is never a bad idea and left guard Charlie Johnson is on the downslope of his career.
Wentworth played left tackle in Fresno State's spread offense. He will slide down to the inside in the NFL and has just enough nastiness to him to cut it as a seventh-round pick.