6 safeties the Vikings could select in the 2021 NFL Draft

(Photo by Don Juan Moore/Getty Images) Hamsah Nasirildeen - Florida State
(Photo by Don Juan Moore/Getty Images) Hamsah Nasirildeen - Florida State /
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Minnesota Vikings
(Photo by Sean M. Haffey/Getty Images) Talanoa Hufanga – USC /

Talanoa Hufanga (USC)


  • Height: 6-foot-1 | Weight: 215 pounds

2020 stats:

  • 62 tackles
  • 4 interceptions
  • 3 sacks

Talanoa Hufanga has been mocked to the Vikings quite a bit over the past two months or so. Even though I don’t love him as a prospect, I do see the appeal with his tape from the 2020 season. He exploded onto the scene with four interceptions and was a key to USC’s success.

Hufanga is a bit of a stiff athlete with limited speed and range, but he is very strong in space, and he makes plays on the ball. He will not be a rangy deep safety with strong coverage skills, but he is very good at playing near the line and pouncing when the opportunity arises. It also helps that he looks a lot like Troy Polamalu with the hair coming out of the USC helmet.

The former Trojan is probably a special teams player early in his career until he finds a role that fits his game, but that’s perfectly okay. The Vikings have had their fair share of safeties do that very thing, including Anthony Harris and Jayron Kearse. With both of them now out of the mix, they could certainly use help in all phases.

Hufanga plays on instincts, but he is still a bit of a liability in coverage. His 2020 performance was promising for what he can become in that regard, but he still has a bit of work to do before he can be a reliable starter. Instead, he could be a sub-package helper for Zimmer’s defense in the early going.