5 biggest myths about the Vikings plans for the 2021 NFL Draft

(Photo by Jamie Sabau/Getty Images) Justin Fields
(Photo by Jamie Sabau/Getty Images) Justin Fields /
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Minnesota Vikings
(Photo by Sean M. Haffey/Getty Images) Alijah Vera-Tucker /

Minnesota has to take an offensive lineman with their top pick

The common consensus among Vikings fans is that they have to take an offensive lineman with their first-round pick this year.

This makes sense as Minnesota used free agency to upgrade the defense and they basically ignored their offensive line. The only move they made to improve the offensive line was to trade for an interior blocker who hasn’t performed any better than their current starters.

While the offensive line does look worse than it was last year, the Vikings don’t have to use their first-round pick on a guard or tackle.

Minnesota definitely doesn’t need the tackle because they potentially have their future left tackle on the roster in Ezra Cleveland. They drafted Cleveland in the second round to be their left tackle of the future last year, and with Riley Reiff gone, now is the time to implement that decision.

This makes guard the only offensive line position the Vikings need to upgrade. While they could certainly go that route with their first-round pick and use it on a prospect like Alijah Vera-Tucker or, better yet, Rashawn Slater, they don’t need to.

Quality guards can be found later on in the draft. Two of the better guards from the 2020 class were found well after the first round concluded as the Seattle Seahawks were able to grab Damien Lewis in the third round and the New England Patriots landed Michael Onwenu in the fifth round.

Minnesota has six picks in rounds three and four, so they can find quality starters at guard with two of those choices. This should allow them to leave their first-round selection open for getting the best player left on the board, whether it’s a wide receiver, defensive end, cornerback, or linebacker.