Vikings should focus on offensive, defensive lines at combine

UCLA offensive lineman Kolton Miller would add talent to a Vikings front that is dealing with a lot of uncertainty this offseason. Jacob Snow/Icon Sportswire

A closer look at the positions the Minnesota Vikings could target at the NFL combine in Indianapolis:

Positions of need: Aside from figuring out who the quarterback will be in 2018, the Vikings' other biggest need this offseason is to add pieces to the offensive line. The unit struggled to protect Case Keenum in the playoffs and has a number of question marks. It's unclear when Nick Easton and Pat Elflein are expected to return from offseason surgery and the team is waiting to hear if/when 14-year veteran Joe Berger will announce his retirement.

The Vikings might also move pieces around among their starting five after Mike Remmers' shift from right tackle to left guard started the conversation about the sixth-year offensive lineman possibly playing a different position next season. The Vikings will have the chance to look at several right tackle prospects this week and also consider adding more depth to the interior.

Most mock drafts have Minnesota taking an offensive lineman at No. 30 in April, but the Vikings will also use their time at the combine to get a look at a handful of defensive tackle prospects who could add some much-needed depth depending on what the team decides to do with Tom Johnson and Shamar Stephen in free agency.

Three players the Vikings should focus on at the combine:

  • Kolton Miller, OT, UCLA: This year's crop of offensive tackle prospects is a fairly deep group, and Miller's draft stock is starting to rise as a mid-to-late first-round pick. The UCLA product decided to forgo his final year of eligibility after he earned the trust of his coaches and was moved from right to left tackle during his junior season. The 6-foot-8, 310-pounder started all 13 games at left tackle in 2017. If the Vikings choose to keep Remmers at guard, Miller could move back to right tackle in his early years as a pro before he takes over on the left side.

  • Billy Price, OG, Ohio State: Minnesota doesn't have too many glaring needs on the interior, but could decide to pair center Elflein with his former teammate. Price has similar skills, having played center and both guard spots at Ohio State. If Berger retires as expected, Price could have a chance to start at right guard. Considered one of the strongest and most powerful interior line prospects, he is being touted as someone who can come into the NFL and make an immediate impact.

  • Maurice Hurst, DT, Michigan: Vita Vea and Da'Ron Payne might be off the board when the Vikings pick at No. 30, but Hurst would be a nice fit if the Vikings elect to choose a defensive tackle in the first round. The Michigan product is projected as a 3-technique tackle in a 4-3 defense and could be a perfect fit next to Linval Joseph. Hurst graded out as one of the best interior pass-rusher/run-stopper combo players in college football last season.