Vikings 2021 prospect watch
Now that the Vikings are officially out of the #TankforTrevor sweepstakes, Minnesota can focus their attention to more attainable players. New draft darling BYU Zach Wilson is also ascending past where the Vikings will likely be picking. The following prospects will likely be mid first-round to second-round picks Minnesota should consider.
Mac Jones and Kyle Trask
These two quarterbacks are trending in a positive direction during the 2020 college football season. Mac Jones has even garnered heisman consideration. Neither fit the new age quarterback mold as both lack desired athleticism, Trask more so than Jones. If Spielman is ready to start grooming an heir apparent to Kirk Cousins one of these two should suffice.
Dalvin Cook for MVP! That is all.
Wide receivers/Tight Ends
Chris Olave, Amon-RA St. Brown, Trey McBride
Wide receivers Chris Olaveand Amon-Ra St.Brown both display big play ability suited for wide receiver two duties. Justin Jefferson seems to already be taking over the primary receiver role, so a third round flyer on an explosive athlete to learn under Adam Thielen would be ideal. Both play with much more finesse than strength, and both can take over the slot with their quickness and elite agility. Tight end Trey McBride is a depth piece, if Kyle Rudolph does not survive the upcoming off season. He is more of a “H” back, and is perfectly suited for blocking duties with great strength. He would do well as the third string tight end.
Wyatt Davis, Creed Humphrey, Trey Smith, Josh Myers
Much like the tackle class the offensive guards have several day one starters that fit the zone blocking system. Given the positional value, most if not all of them should be available to the Vikings on draft day. Both Myers and Humphrey are originally center prospects but possess ability that should translate well to the guard position. Humphrey is a left handed center and may be asked by teams about his willingness to switch positions given the quarterbacks preferences.
Alex Leatherwood, Dillon Radunz, Jackson Carmen
There are a lot of tackle needy teams early in the draft. The Bengals, Chargers, Cowboys, and Broncos may look to get their hands on the top tackle prospects. The Vikings will have their pick of the prospects ranked near the 50s. Alex Leatherwood presents as the best of the bunch while Radunz and Carmen are more project players in the mold of Ezra Cleveland and Brian O’Neill, easy movers who will need time to develop.
Jalean Phillips, Patrick Jones II, Jaylan Twyman, Christian Barmore
Phillips and Jones fit the mold of the edge prospects the Vikings like to draft. Very raw but immense physical gifts. They both have enough skills to come in and help as situational pass rushers, replacing the likes of Stephen Weatherly .
Twyman and Barmore are prospects that focus more on interior pressures than stopping the run. With Michael Pierce coming back next season the Vikings will need rotational players that can push the pocket and create more pressures on the quarterback. All four of these prospects will likely be available in the 2nd and 3rd round.
The Vikings linebacking is shaping up to be a top unit in the NFL, with solid depth. Wilson will likely get big money in free agency meaning Barr’s return is expected and Dye will see an increased role. Expect Minnesota to try to hang on to Todd Davis , and sign a few undrafted free agent rather than spending a draft pick.
Paris Ford, Hamsah Nasirildeen, Trevon Moehrig, Jevon Holland, Rodarius Williams
This year’s safety class is packed with early to mid round talent. With Anthony Harris scheduled to be a free agent the Vikings will have a large group to pick from in the third and fourth rounds. The best of the group seems to be Trevon Moehrig, he can play center field and has great ball skills to immediately fill Harris’s absence. The rest are more of the box safety type players that the league has coveted in recent years . Hamsah Nasirildeen is the more interesting prospect, a 6’4 220 pound imposer who can play deep and man coverage, he could very well end up being the biggest sleeper at this position. Rodarius Williams is the only cornerback on this list. The Cornerback room for the Vikings is starting to come together in terms of starters and depth. Mike Hughes is still under contract next season so any draft pick made this year will likely sit for a season before seeing significant time. Williams, brother of Browns Greedy Williams, has the same traits as his big brother. Long athletic frame and excels in off man coverage. A 3rd or 4th round flyer for a year of teaching could bring success in the future.