6 defensive tackles the Vikings could pick in the 2021 NFL Draft

(Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports) Christian Barmore
(Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports) Christian Barmore /
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Minnesota Vikings
(Photo by Gene Sweeney Jr/Getty Images) Khyiris Tonga /

Khyiris Tonga (BYU)


  • Height: 6-foot-4 | Weight: 322 pounds

2020 Stats:

  • 11 tackles
  • 3.5 sacks
  • 3.5 tackles for loss

If the Vikings decided to wait until the later rounds to boost their defensive tackle depth, then a prospect like Khyiris Tonga should enter their thoughts. His level of production for BYU in 2020 was nothing short of outstanding and anyone with any concerns regarding the player’s physical attributes had their doubts quashed during his supreme Pro Day display.

Tonga seems to have three-down potential in the NFL, even though he might be something of a work in progress initially. The lineman plays the game with an infectious enthusiasm that goes down extremely well with coaches and teammates alike, with his ability against the run being another standout feature of his overall influence on the field.

Anybody expecting miracles from Tonga during his transition to a professional environment will be out of luck. The prospect needs some work on technique and making more of an impression in pass-rushing situations. But his high character and willingness to get better makes him a likely coach-up candidate at the next level.

Tonga’s size and ferocity made him a difficult proposition to block one-on-one at the college level. Whether this will translate against more formidable interiors once he gets to the NFL remains to be seen, but the prospect won’t be found wanting for effort.