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Bleacher Report – Vikings

Vikings free agency top 30 countdown, part 5 (10-6)

By Matthew Coller

With nearly $60 million in salary cap space, the Minnesota Vikings could be active in free agency this year. In the weeks leading up to the free agent period beginning on March 14, we will look at the 30 best available players who would fit the Vikings’ needs.

Read part 1

Read part 2

Read part 3

Read part 4

10 -WR, Paul Richardson

Oct 29, 2017; Seattle, WA, USA; Seattle Seahawks wide receiver Paul Richardson (10) catches a pass against Houston Texans strong safety Marcus Gilchrist (21) during the fourth quarter at CenturyLink Field. Mandatory Credit: Joe Nicholson-USA TODAY Sports

Key stat: Russell Wilson had a 104.3 rating when targeting Richardson

Why he fits:

The 25-year-old receiver was a downfield threat for the Seahawks, ranking in the top 20 in deep receptions and yards. He grabbed 44 passes on 80 targets for 703 yards and six touchdowns. Richardson did struggle with drops (eight) last year, but he might fit in with the Vikings as a reasonably-priced outside option to compliment Stefon Diggs and Adam Thielen.

9 – G, Andrew Norwell

Oct 8, 2017; Detroit, MI, USA; Carolina Panthers offensive guard Andrew Norwell (68) smiles before the game against the Detroit Lions at Ford Field. Mandatory Credit: Raj Mehta-USA TODAY Sports

Key stat: No. 1 in Run Block Success and No. 2 in Pass Blocking Efficiency in the NFL, per PFF

Why he fits:

Consistently graded as one of the best guards in the NFL, Norwell, 26, will have a lot of interest around the NFL. He doesn’t exactly fit the profile of the Vikings’ offensive line at 6-foot-6, 325-pounds and was not often used in the screen game, so he might not be the perfect fit, but his upside would be worth some sacrifice in mobility. He was the only guard with at least 200-plus pass-block snaps last season to not allow a single sack or QB hit.

8 – CB, Patrick Robinson

Key stat: 65.2 quarterback rating on throws into his coverage

Why he fits:

If you can’t beat ’em, join ’em, right? Robinson was at the center of the Vikings’ crushing loss in Philadelphia, returning an interception for touchdown in the NFC title game. He was one of the NFL’s best nickel corners this season, allowing fewer receptions per coverage snap than any other free agent slot corner and 11th overall in the NFL.

7 – G, Josh Kline

Key stat: 15th best Pass Blocking Efficiency grade by PFF

Why he fits:

If the Vikings are looking to fill a guard spot with a smaller guard who can be useful in the screen game, Klein is their guy. The former Patriot was rated highly as a screen blocker and moves well at 6-foot-3, 300-pounds. He wouldn’t be as flashy as signing Norwell, but also wouldn’t cost nearly as much and could be a better fit. While Klein struggled with run blocking last season, he’s been above average in the past.

6 – DT, Sheldon Richardson

Key stat: Best Pass Rushing Efficiency of any unrestricted free agent DT

Why he fits:

While Tom Johnson did a very good job at three-technique DT this season, Richardson would be a complete game changer if he was on the Vikings’ D-line next to Linval Joseph and Everson Griffen. He is a dominant physical force who twice registered six pressures in a single game this season. However, there is some risk involved with multiple suspensions in his past.

The post Vikings free agency top 30 countdown, part 5 (10-6) appeared first on 1500 ESPN Twin Cities.

Source:: 1500 ESPN Sportswire

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