Vikings Draft 2021: Realistic three-round mock draft

(Photo by Sam Craft/Pool Photo-USA TODAY Sports) Kellen Mond
(Photo by Sam Craft/Pool Photo-USA TODAY Sports) Kellen Mond /
3 of 4
Minnesota Vikings
(Photo by Vasha Hunt-USA TODAY Sports) Quinn Meinerz /

Second Round (Pick No. 45)

Quinn Meinerz – IOL (Wisconsin-Whitewater)

With only two spots on their starting offensive line settled heading into next season, adding a new blocker with one of their early-round picks in this year’s NFL Draft is essential for the Vikings to do.

In the first round, Minnesota opted to go with someone who could help their mission to return to having an elite defense. So in round two, the Vikings will attempt to fill one of their holes on their starting offensive line with Quinn Meinerz.

Meinerz is a small-school prospect, but he should be fully capable of holding his own against the top defensive linemen in the NFL.

Minnesota likes their offensive linemen to have the versatility to line up at multiple positions and this is something they can expect from Meinerz. Some have him projected to be a center at the pro level, but he excelled the most in college as a left guard. He should also be able to step in at right guard if needed.

Right guard might actually be where the Vikings have him play. This would allow Ezra Cleveland to move out to left tackle and the newly acquired Mason Cole could take over at left guard.

Minnesota not knowing if they’re going to be able to get actual on-field practice time with their rookies before training camp is what will lead them to ultimately deciding to draft an interior lineman instead of a tackle.

Managing a developing rookie blocker is typically easier with the guys who play inside compared to depending on a first-year offensive tackle to block the blindside of their quarterback. So if the Vikings are going to have less in-person time to work with their rookies this year, going with an interior offensive lineman like Meinerz in the draft over an offensive tackle is the safer choice to make.