Vikings Draft 2021: Four-round mock draft after big free agency signings

(Photo by Joe Robbins/Getty Images) Trey Sermon
(Photo by Joe Robbins/Getty Images) Trey Sermon /
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Minnesota Vikings
(Photo by Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images) Trey Sermon /

Fourth Round (No. 135 overall)

Trey Sermon – RB (Ohio State)

It may be a bit of a surprise to see the Vikings take a running back in this draft, especially as early as the fourth round, but this need is a little bigger upon further examination.

Minnesota has one of the best backs in the NFL right now in Dalvin Cook. He played at an MVP-caliber level for a large stretch of the 2020 season and he is going to see another huge workload in 2021.

Behind him is Alexander Mattison, who is a very capable back. When he’s stepped in for Cook, the offense doesn’t miss a beat, and he’s proven to be a dangerous weapon as a receiver out of the backfield.

The problem is that neither of these two can stay healthy for an entire year. Cook has never played more than 14 games a season and Mattison has never topped 13 in his career. This wasn’t a huge issue when Mike Boone was still with the team. But Boone wasn’t tendered by the Vikings this year and he recently signed with the Denver Broncos.

Minnesota will need to find a third running back this year and they could look to use one of their many fourth-round choices to fill that hole. One that could pique their interest is Trey Sermon from Ohio State.

Sermon is a big, powerful back who is a load at 6-feet and well over 210 pounds. What’ll make him extra attractive to the Vikings is his pass blocking prowess. And while he doesn’t possess elite hands or top-end spend, he’s got great balance, and he doesn’t go down on first contact.

He’d be an ideal replacement for Boone, giving Minnesota quality insurance if Cook or Mattison go down again in 2021.