If Peterson does indeed end up playing somewhere other than the Twin Cities, NFL Media analyst Daniel Jeremiah thinks the team has to find his replacement with its top pick in the draft (No. 11 overall).
"If you lose a running back, I'm going to go ahead and replace him with a running back in Todd Gurley," Jeremiah said on NFL Network's "Path to the Draft" Friday. "He is a special talent and one of the best running backs we've seen come into the league in quite some time. I'd take him right here at No. 11 and plug him in to watch him and Teddy Bridgewater grow on offense together as the future of this football team."
Gurley is Jeremiah's top running back in the draft and No. 12 player overall, so it wouldn't be a stretch to see him go that high to the Peterson-less Vikings in such a scenario, even if most mock drafts have the Georgia runner going far lower in the first round. One factor that could come into play about Gurley is how the team's front office feels about his recovery from an ACL tear following this weekend's medical rechecks in Indianapolis.
But, as Peterson showed the Vikings up close, a player can come back from a torn ACL and play at a very high level these days.
If the Vikings don't move their star running back, Jeremiah thinks they will still stick to offense when it comes to their selection at No. 11.
Parker, the No. 3 wide receiver in the draft on most boards, would no doubt be a welcome addition for coordinator Norv Turner and the Minnesota offense.