A Look Back at the Third Round of the Vikings 2021 Draft Class

Aug 14, 2022; Paradise, Nevada, USA; Minnesota Vikings quarterback Kellen Mond (11) calls a play before snapping the ball against the Las Vegas Raiders during a preseason game at Allegiant Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Stephen R. Sylvanie-USA TODAY Sports

When the Minnesota Vikings traded down from No. 42 to No. 23 in the 2021 NFL Draft and still snagged their left tackle of the future, Christian Darrisaw, the trade looked like a massive win. This was especially so considering that the Vikings were able to get a pair of third-round picks in return. This meant the Vikings had a total of four third-round selections since they already had another in their back pocket from the Ravens due to their in-season trade that sent Yannick Ngakoue to Baltimore. Here are the four players they selected with those picks:

  • No. 66: QB Kellen Mond
  • No. 78: LB Chazz Surratt
  • No. 86: G Wyatt Davis
  • No. 90: EDGE Patrick Jones II

Initially, this group looked fantastic. Minnesota had a potential backup QB in Mond, a sure-fire right guard option, and project defenders in Jones and Surratt. 16 months later, you’ll be hard-pressed to find a single person that is in that same line of thinking regarding the Vikings third round picks of the 2021 draft. For one reason or another, three of the four prospects have fallen out of grace with Vikings fandom.

The Nick Mullens Trade

Kellen Mond was viewed as a project out of Texas A&M with a high ceiling. Given the fact that he was selected with thes second pick of the third round, Rick Spielman agreed with that synopsis. The book on Mond’s story certainly isn’t closed, but the Vikings chapter seems close to ending, especially so after Saturday’s preseason game where Mond struggled once again which, in part, prompted the Vikings to trade a conditional seventh-round pick to the Raiders and grab QB Nick Mullens.

Assuming Mullens passes his physical and catches up with the offensive scheme relatively quickly, the fifth-year veteran should be the backup to Kirk Cousins when the Green Bay Packers head to U.S. Bank Stadium for Week 1. While it would be surprising to me if Mond doesn’t make the final 53-man roster, another poor showing in Denver this weekend would certainly put him on the bubble. That said, it would be hard to justify giving him another contract given what we’ve seen thus far. A tough look for the guy drafted one spot above Davis Mills.

The Wyatt Davis, Chazz Surratt Replacements

Despite being the third player selected in this third round, the most hype of the round certainly went to Wyatt Davis. Given the Vikings continuous struggles at right guard, Davis was supposed to be the plug-and-play guy that fixed the leaky offensive line. Somewhat similarly, Surratt looked like the eventual Anthony Barr replacement at the linebacker spot.

None of that has happened as the pair of prospects have struggled to find playing time. In fact, Kwesi Adofo-Mensah has already found players that look like replacements for these guys. Ed Ingram jumped into the starting lineup and thrived at RG after being selected in the second round.

Likewise, 2022 third-rounder Brian Asamoah is an athletic, hard-hitting linebacker that should be the first guy off the bench behind Eric Kendricks and Jordan Hicks. These players leave little need for Davis and Surratt to stick around much longer, and I expect they’ll both be off the roster by the time final cuts roll around.

Patrick Jones Looks Like a Budding Star

Of these four third-round picks, Patrick Jones II is doing his best to make sure that this round isn’t a blemish on Rick Spielman’s draft resume. Obviously, Danielle Hunter and Za’Darius Smith are going to be the starters Week 1 against the Green Bay Packers. That said, if the Smith signing never happened this offseason, it’d be hard to argue against Jones being the guy to play opposite Hunter.

After being a very under-developed pass-rusher at the University of Pittsburgh, Jones has come into the Vikings organization and turned into a budding star. We can’t forget that Hunter and Smith have very recent injury histories, and if either of them had to miss time, the Vikings seem confident that Jones could fill in. Not too bad for the 90th overall pick.