5 targets for the Vikings in every round of the 2021 NFL Draft
By Dean Jones
Which prospects could the Minnesota Vikings potentially target in each round of the 2021 NFL Draft?
The Minnesota Vikings have some big decisions to make in the near future as they finalize their big board ahead of the 2021 NFL Draft. They currently have 10 selections to call upon throughout what is sure to be a vital couple of days for the organization and getting their picks right could see them make a return to the playoffs next season.
In fairness, the Vikings worked miracles with little financial resources at their disposal during free agency this year, even though some sacrifices were made along the way. Propping these moves up with some exciting college prospects is going to be critical and there is plenty at stake for Minnesota head coach Mike Zimmer and general manager Rick Spielman after a season of underachievement in 2020.
With this in mind, let’s take a look at five potential targets for the Vikings in every round they are currently selecting in 2021.
- Kwity Paye – DE/OLB (Michigan)
- Jaycee Horn – CB (South Carolina)
- Jaelan Phillips – DE/OLB (Miami)
- Alijah Vera-Tucker – OL (USC)
- Rashawn Slater – OT (Northwestern)
There should be a large number of options available for Minnesota at No. 14 overall. The expected run of quarterbacks in the top-10 should indicate there will be some talented individuals available without having to move up. Although the prospect of the Vikings trading back to get themselves a second-rounder cannot be ruled out either.
Getting a dynamic pass-rusher from a poor class overall to put alongside the returning Danielle Hunter might be the best way to go. Someone like Kwity Paye has all the physically imposing attributes Minnesota normally covets, with the upside of Jaelan Phillips after a sensational 2020 campaign at Miami being something else that shouldn’t be overlooked.
The Vikings getting better from a protection standpoint would also be welcome. Versatile linemen Alijah Vera-Tucker out of USC has been the popular pick for many draft analysts in recent weeks. But if Northwestern’s Rashawn Slater somehow fell into Minnesota’s lap, selecting him would be a no-brainer.
The ongoing situation with 2020 first-round pick Jeff Gladney is deeply concerning and it might result in the Vikings allocating yet another high-end selection on a cornerback. If they go down this route, then Jaycee Horn is the guy providing he is still on the board.