4 questions the Vikings must answer before the 2021 NFL Draft

(Photo by Charles LeClaire-USA TODAY Sports) Riley Reiff
(Photo by Charles LeClaire-USA TODAY Sports) Riley Reiff /
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Minnesota Vikings
(Photo by Hannah Foslien/Getty Images) Ezra Cleveland /

What is Cleveland’s position moving forward?

The Vikings’ offensive line needs to improve this year, and before they add any new faces to the unit to ensure this happens, they need to figure out what they are going to do with the guys currently on their roster.

One big question that Minnesota has to address before the draft is figuring out where Ezra Cleveland is going to play in 2021 and beyond?

The Vikings drafted Cleveland in the second round last year and most expected he was added to be their left tackle of the future. But after injuries and poor play decimated Minnesota at the guard position this past season, they tried the rookie inside, and despite an up and down performance, he quickly became the team’s best guard.

So now the question is, will he stay at right guard for the upcoming season? The Vikings are going to be in win-now mode as the current regime needs results if they are going to keep their jobs.

Minnesota might opt to pay Riley Reiff and keep him on the left side for 2021 and this would likely keep Cleveland at guard for at least one more season. If the Vikings cut Reiff to save some money this year though, they’ll still need to decide what to do with their young, versatile blocker.

When Minnesota is on the clock at pick No. 14 in this year’s NFL Draft, there could be some very good offensive line prospects still on the board. They could see players like Rashawn Slater, Christian Darrisaw, and Alijah Vera-Tucker available.

Slater and Darrisaw are a couple of players who could play tackle, while Vera-Tucker is seen as a solid option at guard. If the Vikings know they want Cleveland to be the left tackle of the future, that would eliminate Darrisaw from being an option at No. 14, and it’s unclear if they’d take Slater just to move him inside.

Cleveland’s future role with the team will have a big impact on what they do with the 14th pick in this year’s draft. The Vikings just need to make sure they know what that future is prior to draft day.