Leading up to the start of the 2015 NFL draft on Thursday, we'll be taking a position-by-position look at the Minnesota Vikings' roster:
Position: Running back
Projected starters: Peterson (RB), Line (FB)
Total cap charge: $19.11 million (first)
Scouting report: It all depends on what happens with Peterson, doesn't it? The Vikings have been adamant that they plan to keep him, and they believe he'll eventually show up if presented with a play-for-us-or-play-for-no-one choice. If they're right -- and the guess here is they will be -- they'll have a running back who likely has too much tenacity and professional pride to give anything less than a full effort. And if that's the case, look out. Peterson told ESPN in February he's getting ready to "shock the world" in 2015, and that's a big part of why the Vikings plan to keep him; they want it to be for them.
The last running back drafted: The Vikings took McKinnon in the third round last season, making the final piece of the package they acquired in the Percy Harvin trade of 2013.
Potential targets: If Peterson were not going to be in Minnesota, the team would be an obvious destination for players such as Todd Gurley and Melvin Gordon. But given the Vikings' other needs elsewhere, and the depth of the running back class in this draft, it might make sense for the Vikings to wait on a running back even without Peterson. They've spent time with Minnesota running back David Cobb, Boise State's Jay Ajayi and Northern Iowa's David Johnson before the draft, and players that can contribute to the Vikings' passing game would be especially good fits. A young, versatile back could make sense for the future even if the 30-year-old Peterson is in Minnesota, and the team could find one it likes in the middle rounds.
Need rating (scale of 1 to 10): If Peterson stays: 3. If Peterson is traded: 6.