Vikings 60-second rant: Three areas needing improvement

Posted Nov. 29, 2011 @ 8:22 p.m.
Posted By Christian West

The Vikings have major holes across their roster and they have been exposed all season. But there are three areas in particular that the franchise needs to improve if it wants to return to the prominence of their 2009 NFC championship game run.

Offensive line: This is the group that needs the most work. Only C John Sullivan has played well enough this season to warrant a return gig in 2012. While he doesn't have ideal strength, he has shown good athleticism in getting to the second level. However, the other four linemen — OLT Charlie Johnson, OLG Steve Hutchinson, ORG Anthony Herrera and ORT Phil Loadholt — have not played at a high level. Johnson just isn't a starting-caliber NFL tackle, and Loadholt lacks the consistency to be counted on throughout a season. Age has caught up to Hutchinson, as he no longer dominates a game like he once could, and Herrera has struggled through the season, as well. With 80 percent of the line needing reworking, finding linemen should be the top priority this offseason.

Cornerback: Anyone who has watched Benny Sapp, Asher Allen and Cedric Griffin attempt to cover over the last few weeks knows that corner is a major need for the team. The team's top two corners, Chris Cook and Antoine Winfield, have uncertain futures with the team moving forward. But given the growth of the passing game, having multiple corners who can play man and zone coverages is necessary. Corner is a very difficult position to evaluate well, but to compete in a division that has Matthew Stafford, Jay Cutler and some guy named Rodgers, getting quality corners is imperative.

Wide receiver: Percy Harvin is a keeper despite his injury history and showed as much with his great effort in Sunday's loss to the Falcons. But the other three receivers — Michael Jenkins, Devin Aromashodu and Greg Camarillo — shouldn't have much of a future with the team. None of those three receivers has the natural talent to help ease QB Christian Ponder's development by making the tough catches in traffic or separating adequately from man coverage. The Vikings need a legitimate deep threat, as well as a big, physical possession receiver to work the intermediate routes and keep the chains moving.