The Minnesota Vikings were unable to make the playoffs last season after seeing Teddy Bridgewater go down with a season-ending injury before the regular season even began. Sam Bradford showed flashes of being the starting quarterback that the Vikings needed, but the team didn't have quite enough to make a playoff push.
When everything was said and done, the Vikings finished the 2016 season with an 8-8 record. It was a disappointing season, but Minnesota has the talent to get back on track in 2017 with a solid offseason.
Mike Zimmer's team is full of budding stars, which means that they have had successful drafts. There is a lot of talent in the 2017 NFL Draft as well. Minnesota will have a chance to get two or three key players, and there are quite a few options for them to choose between in the second and third rounds in particular.
Looking ahead at the second round, there are quite a few potential stars on the draft board. This draft is one of the deeper drafts that the NFL has had in recent years and that will show with the players that are drafted in the middle rounds. Minnesota may not end up getting a superstar in the second round, but they certainly have a chance to do so.
All of that being said, which five players could be potential second-round targets for the Minnesota Vikings in the 2017 NFL Draft?Dion Dawkins, Offensive Guard, Temple
Minnesota will need to address their offensive line in the draft this year and Dion Dawkins could be a nice fit. He is an athletic guard out of Temple that could help anchor the line to protect either Bridgewater or Bradford. Dawkins may not be a flashy pick, but he could be a cornerstone for their future.
Caleb Brantley, Defensive Line, Florida
Another need for the Vikings is on the defensive line. Caleb Brantley finished the 2016 season with 31 tackles and 2.5 sacks for the Florida Gators and helped stuff the line at 6-foot-2 and 297 pounds. Minnesota could certainly upgrade their defensive line by selecting Brantley in the second round.
Malik McDowell, Defensive Line, Michigan State
Sticking with the defensive line, Malik McDowell could be another option for the Vikings. He racked up 34 tackles and 1.5 sacks last season and weighs in at 6-foot-6 and 276 pounds. Minnesota would take a big step in the right direction on the defensive side of the football if McDowell reaches his full potential.Taylor Moton, Offensive Tackle, Western Michigan
Adding one more offensive lineman to the list, Taylor Moton could be a potential target for the Vikings. Moton stands in at 6-foot-5 and 328 pounds and has star potential. Minnesota might be taking a bit of a risk by selecting Moton with their second round pick, but they could be selecting a future star.
Amara Darboh, Wide Receiver, Michigan
If the Vikings were to decide to draft an offensive playmaker, Amara Darboh could make sense. The talented wide receiver from Michigan caught 57 passes for 862 yards and seven touchdowns last season. Darboh would add yet another weapon for the Vikings' quarterbacks to utilize.
Expect to see the Vikings pick up a good piece in the second round of the 2017 NFL Draft. They may not go with one of these five players, but all five would make sense. Minnesota has quite a few holes that need to be filled, and it will be intriguing to see what direction they choose to go with their draft picks.
Do you think the Minnesota Vikings should draft one of these five players in the second round of the draft? What other names would you add to the list? Let us know your thoughts in the comment box below!
[Featured Image by Gregory Payan/AP Images]