Minnesota Vikings: 5 prospects worth reaching for at the 2021 NFL Draft
By Luke Parrish
D’Ante Smith – OT (East Carolina)
- Height: 6-foot-5 | Weight: 294 pounds
You can’t talk about the Vikings’ draft plans without mentioning the offensive line being a major concern. They have tried to add talent in the past few drafts but the results are far from known at this point. If the plan is to keep Ezra Cleveland at guard, the Minnesota Vikings could look to the drat for their new left tackle.
D’Ante Smith is a very raw player on the blindside that fits the athletic profile the Vikings have liked in recent years. Similar to Brian O’Neill and Ezra Cleveland, Smith is a lean tackle prospect that is best in space. He is not going to grab anyone’s attention with power or a mean streak but Smith could develop into the perfect tackle for Minnesota’s zone run scheme.
Lenght and good hands are going to get Smith into the NFL but there is still a lot of work to be done. And yes, I’m aware that drafting a project left tackle is not going to solve any of Minnesota’s present issues. That does not mean they should ignore players who may take a bit to get into the mix.
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They could also look at Smith as a guard thanks to his ability to move into the second level but his lack of power and smaller frame will make for an interesting pairing with an already-converted Cleveland on the inside.
Even if it takes a year or two for Smith to be ready for real NFL action, the Minnesota Vikings could benefit from taking a chance on his future.