Minnesota Vikings: Early 2018 NFL Draft First Round Targets [Opinion]

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The Minnesota Vikings have been one of the best stories in the league throughout the 2017 NFL season. After seeing Teddy Bridgewater and Sam Bradford out early due to injuries, not many gave them much of a chance to make the playoffs with Case Keenum taking over the starting quarterback position.

As it turns out, Keenum was exactly the quarterback to turn the Vikings into a serious Super Bowl threat.

Last year, the Vikings had a lot of success in the NFL Draft. They were able to snag Dalvin Cook, who looked like a star before going down with a torn ACL. This year, the Vikings will pick late in the draft but there are plenty of players that will be available that would be great fits for Minnesota.

Even with Keenum’s breakout season, there could be a quarterback available late in the first round that the Vikings consider. They also could consider beefing up the cornerback position or plenty of other areas. Needless to say, the Vikings have an abundance of options and will simply be adding to an already deep, talented team on both sides of the football.

All of that being said, what five prospects could be early potential draft targets for the Vikings this year?

Lamar Jackson, Quarterback, Louisville

That’s right, the Vikings could take a quarterback to groom for the future. Whether they decide to keep Bridgewater or Keenum, neither quarterback has the potential that Jackson possesses. There are some critics that don’t think his game will translate well to the NFL, but his upside is worth the pick for the Vikings.

Isaiah Oliver, Cornerback, Colorado

If the Vikings decided to go with a cornerback, Isaiah Oliver could make a lot of sense for them. After racking up 26 tackles, two interceptions, and 12 defended passes, according to Sports-Reference, his draft stock has shot way up. Minnesota could add him to an already dangerous secondary.

Roquan Smith, Linebacker, Georgia

Minnesota could look to beef up their linebacking corps and Roquan Smith would be a perfect fit in their defense. He had a stellar year with the Georgia Bulldogs in 2017, recording 124 total tackles to go along with 5.5 sacks, a forced fumble, and two fumble recoveries. Adding Smith would give the Vikings even more strength and playmaking in the middle of their defense.

Courtland Sutton, Wide Receiver, SMU

Finally, the Vikings could use some more talent at the wide receiver position. Courtland Sutton would be a big part for Minnesota at 6-foot-4 and 216 pounds and also showed some of his potential with 68 catches for 1,085 yards and 12 touchdowns. Sutton has a lot of talent and if the Vikings decide to go with a wide receiver, he should be their guy.