Vikings Draft 2021: Four-round risk-reward mock draft

(Photo by Chris Graythen/Getty Images) Kary Vincent Jr.
(Photo by Chris Graythen/Getty Images) Kary Vincent Jr. /
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Minnesota Vikings
(Photo by Scott Taetsch/Getty Images) Micah Parsons /

First Round (No. 14 overall)

Micah Parsons – LB (Penn State)

Micah Parsons has been the top linebacker in this class for basically the entire draft cycle, which is not all too common. Even without playing in 2020 due to his decision to opt-out, Parsons is still viewed as a top defender in this class.

Minnesota is not in dire need of a starting linebacker in the first round, but Parsons could very well be the replacement to Anthony Barr if he leaves in free agency after this season. Adding a player with Parsons’ athleticism would make for a seamless transition from the veteran Barr.

Parsons is a tremendous athlete in the middle of the field that will fly to the ball and make an impact however he can. In just two seasons at Penn State, Parsons racked up 191 tackles, 18 tackles for loss, and six forced fumbles.

The only thing that hurts his stock right now is a couple of off-the-field red flags that have raised questions about his character. Most notably, Parsons is at the forefront of the Penn State locker room hazing lawsuit that made its rounds during last year’s draft with Yetur Gross-Matos.

Parsons was named in the complaint as one of four players who hazed and harassed the victim. There was also an incident in high school in which Parsons was accused of inciting a riot and was suspended. While Parsons certainly does not seem to be the worst person in the world, there have been questions about his character nonetheless.