Last year, the Minnesota Vikings had 15 draft picks. They used them to bring an infusion of talent to the team. With that came inexperience and in a shortened offseason due to the COVID-19 pandemic, it took the team a while before they were able to get into a groove, especially on defense.
That said, Justin Jefferson could have arguably been the Offensive Rookie of the Year for how he performed at receiver. The Vikings will be looking to land some similarly-talented players in the 2021 NFL Draft, and armed with the No. 14 pick, they should have a chance to land a solid player.
The Vikings will probably want to focus on upgrading the trenches considering that their blocking hasn’t been great on offense and their pass rush didn’t do as well as expected last year. That’s why they parted with Yannick Ngakoue midway through the season, and their blocking issues are part of why they parted with Riley Reiff. Upgrades are needed for Minnesota, but they can compete in the NFC North if they can fill their biggest needs and see their young prospects take the next step.
Here’s a look at the Vikings’ picks in the 2021 NFL Draft:
Vikings draft picks 2021: When does Minnesota pick?
- Round 1, Pick No. 23: Christian Darrisaw, OT, Virginia Tech
- Round 3, Pick No. 66
- Round 3, Pick No. 78
- Round 3, Pick No. 86
- Round 3, Pick No. 90
- Round 4, Pick No. 119
- Round 4, Pick No. 125
- Round 4, Pick No. 134
- Round 4, Pick No. 143
- Round 5, Pick No. 157
- Round 5, Pick No. 168
- Round 6, Pick No. 199
- Round 6, Pick No. 223
Vikings 2021 NFL Draft order
|1||23 (from Jets)|
|3||2 (from Jets)|
|3||22 (from Jets)|
|3||27 (from Ravens)|
|4||20 (from Bears)|
|4||29 (from Bills)|
|5||24 (from Steelers through Ravens)|
|6||39 (Compensatory Selection)|
|7||14 (Choice Forfeited)|
Vikings NFL Draft needs
- Offensive line: Currently, Rashod Hill is penciled in as the starter at left tackle. He’s a fine swing tackle, but starting him probably wouldn’t go well. The team could also use help at the left guard spot. Going after a guy like Christian Darrisaw or Alijah Vera-Tucker at 14 makes a lot of sense.
- Edge rusher: With Ngakoue gone, Danielle Hunter is the only consistent pass rusher that the Vikings have. They averaged just 1.4 sacks per game last year (fifth-worst in the NFL) so targeting a counterpart for Hunter would be a good move.
- Defensive tackle: Minnesota addressed this area by adding Dalvin Tomlinson in free agency, but the team needs a viable option next to him, preferably one that is better as a pass rusher.
- Wide receiver: Justin Jefferson and Adam Thielen are a dynamic one-two punch at receiver. Beyond them, the Vikings don’t have much depth, so adding a third viable target in a strong receiver class would be a good move.
- Quarterback: Kirk Cousins is a fine starter, and it doesn’t look like the Vikings are going to replace him. That said, they should at least add some competition behind him that’s better than Nathan Stanley and Jake Browning. Maybe grabbing a developmental guy like Davis Mills with one of their four Round 4 picks would be a worthwhile consideration.
Vikings mock draft 2021
Here are the latest 2021 NFL Draft projections for the Vikings, according to Vinnie Iyer’s seven-round mock draft:
|3||27||Hunter Long||TE||Boston College|
|4||14||Darius Stills||DT||West Virginia|
|4||38||Jamie Newman||QB||Wake Forest|
|5||24||Justin Hilliard||LB||Ohio State|
|6||39||Riley Cole||LB||South Alabama|