Is there a long-term replacement for Riley Reiff in the 2021 NFL Draft for the Minnesota Vikings?
Riley Reiff will be staying with the Minnesota Vikings for one more season. The veteran offensive lineman opted to restructure his contract to make financial room for stud defensive end Yannick Ngakoue and this was another big boost to the team’s chances of a deep postseason run this year.
There is no doubt that Reiff has had his share of doubters during his time with the Vikings. He did enjoy a bounce-back campaign in 2019 after struggling significantly the year before. But his future was still up in the air heading into this offseason thanks to Minnesota’s salary cap complications.
He appeared to be a prime candidate for release, which Reiff was eventually offered before deciding to take what the Vikings gave him on his current deal. The left tackle will likely need to play at an All-Pro level to see out the final season of his current contract in 2021 and even that might not be enough with the cap coming down due to a lack of revenue.
Releasing Reiff next spring would save the Vikings over $11 million, according to Spotrac. This simply makes too much sense to pass up, so the organization will need to start looking for a long-term solution to its edge protection.
Minnesota does have one of the NFL’s best young tackles in Brian O’Neill, but not having Reiff would leave a big void on the line of scrimmage. The Vikings still have plenty of draft picks despite giving up two to acquire Ngakoue and this seems to be the best route the team could go down for a potential starting left tackle for the foreseeable future.
Let’s take a look at five draft prospects that could potentially replace Reiff on Minnesota’s roster in 2021.