Why the Vikings will draft an edge rusher with their top pick in 2021

(Photo by Michael Reaves/Getty Images) Gregory Rousseau
(Photo by Michael Reaves/Getty Images) Gregory Rousseau /
4 of 4
Minnesota VIkings
(Photo by Jonathan Bachman/Getty Images) Danielle Hunter /

Vikings need to find a starter opposite Hunter

This has been eluded to all throughout this article, but the Vikings showed last season that without Danielle Hunter on the roster, there is no pass rush on this team.

Jalyn Holmes, Ifeadi Odenigbo, and D.J. Wonnum failed miserably in their attempts to replace Hunter’s pressures and production, and opposing quarterbacks had all day long to scan the field and find the open man.

Of the few mentioned above, Wonnum did flash some potential last year, and he will have the best chance to start opposite Hunter, but he hit the rookie wall and faded down the stretch in 2020.

The Vikings also brought back Stephen Weatherly, but in his stint as a fill-in starter in Minnesota and his brief tenure with the Carolina Panthers, he failed to produce starter-worthy numbers. if anyone thinks he’s the solution, they are dead wrong.

The Vikings simply have to find that guy who can complement Hunter like the way Everson Griffen used to. They didn’t find that guy in free agency and now the 2021 draft is their only chance remaining.

Their best chances will definitely come in the first round, which could be in the form of Kwity Paye. He’s a guy who has a motor that doesn’t stop, he uses his hands well to shed blocks, and he closes in on quarterbacks very quickly. Paye doesn’t have the injury history of Jaelan Phillips and he is a much safer pick than Gregory Rousseau.

Paye could be the guy who can be that pass-rushing threat across from Hunter and if the Vikings are going to land him, it will probably have to be done with the 14th overall choice.