5 prospects who could fall to the Vikings in the 2021 NFL Draft

(Photo by Michael Reaves/Getty Images) Justin Fields
(Photo by Michael Reaves/Getty Images) Justin Fields /
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Minnesota Vikings
(Photo by Gary Cosby Jr/The Tuscaloosa News via USA TODAY Sports) Jaylen Waddle /

Jaylen Waddle – WR (Alabama)

There are three elite wide receivers in the 2021 NFL Draft and the chances are quite good that one falls to the Vikings at pick No. 14.

Ja’Marr Chase won’t be that guy, as there’s no way he slips beyond the No. 7 pick. DeVonta Smith or Jaylen Waddle could though and either would provide a huge value for Minnesota.

Wide receiver isn’t even close to being the Vikings’ biggest need this year. Improving their offensive line and their pass rush are bigger priorities. Despite having Adam Thielen and Justin Jefferson though, receiver is still a need because they do have to improve the depth, and find a pass-catcher who can be the future No. 2 option on the team.

Waddle or Smith could both be that guy and either could slide down the board for different reasons.

Waddle is an explosive playmaker that, when his top speed is engaged, no one on the field can catch him. He would be an explosive addition to Minnesota’s offense and he could also be a dynamite returner. The issue that could cause him to tumble is his ankle injury and concerns about his recovery having a long-term impact on his overall speed and burst.

Smith owned the 2021 National Championship game and he is an established route-runner with great speed and very sticky hands. His slight frame is his biggest knock, but the guy is one hell of a football player, and he can also make an impact on special teams.

If teams picking early opt to address the offensive line instead of a wide receiver, that could cause one of these elite pass catchers to fall into the Vikings’ laps.