Vikings Draft 2021: Final seven-round mock draft

(Photo by Kirthmon F. Dozier, Detroit Free Press) Kwity Paye
(Photo by Kirthmon F. Dozier, Detroit Free Press) Kwity Paye /
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Minnesota Vikings
(Photo by Mike Carter-USA TODAY Sports) Kwity Paye /

First Round (No. 14 overall)

Kwity Paye – DE (Michigan)

This is a tough spot for the Vikings. At No. 14 overall, the team stays out of the shuffle at the top for the elite prospects at key positions as well as the positioning for quarterbacks. Still, there are some really great players who should be available when the purple and gold are on the clock.

Since there is quite a bit of depth at both offensive tackle and guard, waiting on those positions would provide the best value. It may feel wrong to pass on a lineman considering the team’s needs, but history has shown Minnesota has a very tough time drafting offensive blockers successfully.

The pass rush is still a need to address and has a huge drop-off after the first tier of talent. Grabbing someone to pair with Danielle Hunter is essential. For that reason, someone like Kwity Paye would be a great selection for Minnesota.

Despite a lack of eye-popping sack numbers, Paye has four years of experience at Michigan and may not have as high of a ceiling as other pass rushers in this class, but his floor is much higher thanks to having more polish and fewer red flags than other prospects at the position.

Selecting Kwity Paye is a bit of a safe pick and a touch of a reach at 14 overall, but to get someone that could be a long-term answer at defensive end is well worth it. Mike Zimmer will not allow the team to be in a situation like 2020 where opposing teams had all day to throw the football against Minnesota after only getting 23 sacks total.