5 early contenders to be the Vikings first pick in the 2021 NFL Draft

(Photo by Sam Wasson/Getty Images) Trey Lance
(Photo by Sam Wasson/Getty Images) Trey Lance /
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Minnesota Vikings
(Photo by Sam Wasson/Getty Images) Trey Lance /

Trey Lance – QB (North Dakota State)

Although Kirk Cousins is still performing at a very high standard – especially since the bye week in 2020 – the time is almost upon the Vikings to start looking for his long-term replacement.

There wouldn’t be a great deal of pressure for any incoming college prospect to come in and make an immediate impression for Minnesota, which might actually be a good thing for their overall development.

One name that would be a surprise is Trey Lance. The North Dakota State phenom will be one of the most polarizing figures during the evaluation process. It would be nothing short of a bombshell if the Vikings selected the quarterback at No. 14 overall.

Lance has surged up draft boards over the last year, thanks to his outstanding displays. He looks to have all the tools necessary to make a real go of things at the next level. But there are some concerning factors to consider if Minnesota wants to go in this particular direction.

The signal-caller comes from a small school program, where he has thrived in no uncertain terms. However, the strength of opposition isn’t exactly that of the SEC, and there is also the matter of inactivity this season to consider due to COVID-19.

Considering how many other needs the Vikings have elsewhere to get themselves back in the playoff picture, this is a luxury they cannot really afford at this juncture. This might all change if the organization likes what it sees from Lance during the evaluation process and being bold is something that Minnesota general manager Rick Spielman is renowned for.