How cutting Riley Reiff impacts the Vikings plans for the 2021 NFL Draft

(Photo by Dylan Buell/Getty Images) Riley Reiff
(Photo by Dylan Buell/Getty Images) Riley Reiff /
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Minnesota Vikings
(Photo by Brad Rempel-USA TODAY Sports) Riley Reiff /

The Minnesota Vikings cut Riley Reiff and here’s how that move affects their draft plans.

The Minnesota Vikings somewhat surprisingly cut their starting left tackle Riley Reiff on Wednesday. While the move makes sense from a salary cap standpoint,  the Vikings are taking a huge risk letting him go.

Reiff was very good in 2020 and he played at a high level all season long. He was a wall in pass protection and he sealed the edge, which allowed Dalvin Cook to get outside and turn on the jets for big gainers.

As well as he played, the roughly $13 million cap hit he had for 2021 proved to be too big a bite for Minnesota’s budget and he was let go. Now it appears that Ezra Cleveland will kick to the left side of the line for next season unless the team gets nutty and moves Brian O’Neill to a new position.

While this move saved the Vikings money, it creates a lot of question marks. Many of these questions now have to do with Minnesota’s plans for this year’s NFL Draft.

Certain positions now become much bigger needs. When and where the Vikings decide to address these needs has definitely changed. So what are some of the ways that cutting Rieff impacts the Vikings’ draft plans this year?