Have the Vikings painted themselves into a corner by letting all of their backup DTs leave via free agency?
Shamar Stephen is on his way to Seattle, after signing with the Seahawks on Saturday. He is now the second former Vikings defensive tackle signed by Pete Carroll this offseason as Tom Johnson was also signed to play his home games in Seattle.
Both Johnson and Stephen would most likely have been used as rotational depth at the DT position for the Vikings in 2018, after Sheldon Richardson agreed to a one year deal with Minnesota this offseason. With the players currently available on the free agent market looking a little less than desirable, The Vikings have painted themselves into a corner and will surely be looking for depth at DT and a few other positions through the draft.
Now, they could very well find a perfectly suitable replacement for that DT role via the draft but they still have a few rotational positions to fill and depending on the players available, may give priority to those over DT. This could prove problematic if the Vikings wait too long to draft a defensive tackle, or swing and miss on a prospect and either Richardson or Linval Joseph get hurt.
Minnesota does not need to fill many starting roles from this draft class and will actually be able to take the best player available and address depth needs as they present themselves should they choose to go that route. Although Stephen was a solid player for the Vikings over the past four seasons, starting 20 games and playing in many more, he was drafted in the seventh round and his departure will not change expectations for the 2018 season in Minnesota. It might just make those expectations more difficult to meet.