Vikings Draft 2021: Post-Super Bowl four-round mock draft
By Dean Jones
Fourth Round (Pick No. 144)
Caden Sterns – S (Texas)
Anthony Harris looked like he’d checked out from the Vikings long before the end of the 2020 season. The safety was lackluster at best down the stretch and there is absolutely no chance he’s offered an extension by Minnesota’s front office this year before hitting the free-agent market in March.
With Harrison Smith not getting any younger, the time may have come for the Vikings to start looking at viable long-term options on the backend with Harris inevitably moving on to pastures new.
Caden Sterns displayed enough during his college career at Texas to indicate he might be of some use and he possesses the sort of versatility that the Vikings should covet heavily.
Sterns relies heavily on his instincts, which are top-notch and they allow him to be around the ball in coverage consistently. His movements are fluid and the prospect also has nice quickness over short areas that enable him to provide a security blanket for outside cornerbacks during the times they get beat on a route.
One major concern where Sterns is concerned is from a physical standpoint. He’s struggled to make an impact in run support at the second level and he struggles to get off blocks in blitz packages, which could steer some teams away.
4 prospects the Vikings might trade up for in the 2021 NFL Draft
Which 2021 NFL Draft prospects could be worth the Minnesota Vikings trading up for in the first round to boost their chances of a playoff return?
However, allowing him to learn alongside an All-Pro with the outstanding career Smith has put together would do his chances of forging out a productive career in Minnesota the world of good if he ended up being drafted by them.