Vikings add immediate offensive line help with first pick in 2021 NFL Draft

(Photo by Don Juan Moore/Getty Images) Christian Darrisaw
(Photo by Don Juan Moore/Getty Images) Christian Darrisaw /

With their first pick in the 2021 NFL Draft, the Minnesota Vikings went with former Virginia Tech offensive tackle Christian Darrisaw.

It took a little longer than anticipated, thanks to Rick Spielman feeding his trade addiction, but the Minnesota Vikings made their first selection of the 2021 NFL Draft on Thursday night.

After trading down from pick No. 14 with the New York Jets, the Vikings ended up moving down the order to the 23rd selection. Some were skeptical about Minnesota possibly trading back once again, but in the end, they stuck with their pick at No. 23.

With this selection, the Vikings decided to improve a weak offensive line by picking former Virginia Tech offensive tackle Christian Darrisaw.

Did the Minnesota Vikings just select a Day 1 starter with their first pick in the 2021 NFL Draft?

After parting ways with Riley Reiff earlier this offseason, offensive tackle jumped up the list of needs for Minnesota heading into this year’s draft. With the addition of Darrisaw on Thursday, the Vikings now likely have a replacement for Reiff on the left side of their line.

During his college career at Virginia Tech, Minnesota’s newest blocker spent the majority of his time at the left tackle position. If the Vikings are happy with his development this summer, Darrisaw could definitely open the 2021 season as the team’s starting left tackle.

In terms of what Minnesota is exactly getting in this year’s first-round pick, they just added a really solid, young blocker, with a ton of potential. He was a starter as a true freshman at Virginia Tech, so he’s got plenty of experience. And his 6-foot-5, 322-pound frame will prove to be useful when opposing pass rushers are attempting to get around him.

We mentioned the trade with the Jets earlier, and in this deal, Minnesota moved back to pick No. 23 in addition to sending New York a fourth-round selection (143), but they also acquired two more picks in the third round (66 and 86).

After this trade, the Vikings now have a total of four picks in the third round and three in the fourth round. Minnesota still doesn’t have a second-round selection, but it seems safe to assume Spielman will be attempting to use some of his picks in the third and fourth round to move into the second on Friday.

Following the selection of Darrisaw, there might be no one on the Vikings roster who will be sleeping better on Thursday night than quarterback Kirk Cousins.