2020 Heisman winner picked by Vikings in recent mock draft
By Adam Patrick
Could former Alabama receiver DeVonta Smith fall all the way to the Minnesota Vikings in this year’s NFL Draft?
Following their decision to trade Stefon Diggs to the Buffalo Bills last March, the Minnesota Vikings set out to find his replacement with their top selection in the 2020 NFL Draft.
After the Philadelphia Eagles made the surprising decision to draft former TCU receiver Jalen Reagor with the No. 21 pick, Minnesota quickly submitted their choice for the No. 22 pick, which ended up being former LSU pass-catcher, Justin Jefferson.
Jefferson not only replaced Diggs’ production in the Vikings offense during his first year with the team, he exceeded it. After a record-breaking rookie season, Minnesota should be very excited about their future with Jefferson on their roster.
Will the Minnesota Vikings use a first-round pick on a wide receiver again?
Four of the Vikings’ last five first-round draft selections have been spent on either a wide receiver or a cornerback. Heading into this year’s draft, it’s quite possible that Minnesota could take a prospect from one of these two position groups again.
Well, in a recent 2021 mock draft from NFL.com’s Daniel Jeremiah, the Vikings wound up using the No. 14 pick in the first round on former Alabama receiver DeVonta Smith. Yes, the same DeVonta Smith who just became the first wide receiver to win the Heisman Trophy since 1991.
Now, some might be wondering, one, how Smith fell so far down the board, and two, why would Minnesota use their top pick on a pass-catcher for the second year in a row?
Well, the first question is anyone’s guess since Smith has been mocked by many to come off the board within the first five or six picks. As for the second question, it’s completely reasonable for the Vikings to start thinking about a replacement for Adam Thielen, who will be 31 next season, and he’s coming off his second-straight year without gaining at least 1,000 receiving yards.
What a dynamic and lethal receiving duo Minnesota would have with Smith and Jefferson if they were actually able to draft the former Alabama pass-catcher this year. During this past season with Alabama, Smith played out of his mind, racking up 117 catches for 1,856 yards and 24 touchdowns.
Some Vikings fans might prefer the team to use this year’s first-round pick on a bigger need than wide receiver. But let’s think back to 1998 when Minnesota used their draft selection in the first round on some kid named Randy Moss to pair with the talented receiving duo of Cris Carter and Jake Reed.
4 players who almost signed with the Vikings in free agency
Who are some of the players the Minnesota Vikings pursued in free agency in the recent past that went on to sign with a different team?
That worked out pretty well, didn’t it?