4 prospects the Vikings missed out on in the 2021 NFL Draft

(Photo by Bart Boatwright-The Greenville News) Amari Rodgers
(Photo by Bart Boatwright-The Greenville News) Amari Rodgers /
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Minnesota Vikings
(Photo by Grant Halverson/Getty Images) Jeremiah Owusu-Koramoah /

Jeremiah Owusu-Koramoah – LB (Notre Dame)

The departure of linebacker Eric Wilson in free agency opened up the need for the Vikings to address the position in the offseason.

While the additions of Nick Vigil in free agency and rookie Chazz Surratt in the draft fill the position’s vacancy, having a game-breaker like Jeremiah Owusu-Koramoah to pair with Eric Kendricks and Anthony Barr would’ve formed one of the league’s most intimidating linebacking cores.

In his two years at Notre Dame, JOK recorded 134 total tackles, seven pass breakups, 10 sacks, five forced fumbles, and one interception. He was recognized as the best linebacker in college, leading to him being declared the winner of the 2020 Dick Butkus Award.

This year, the Vikings selected former UNC linebacker Chazz Surratt with the 78th overall pick in the third round. While JOK was taken much earlier by the Cleveland Browns with the 52nd overall pick in the second round, Minnesota was in a good position to move up and snag the stud prospect at a reasonable price.

Sports Illustrated’s Will Ragatz speculated the Vikings could have made a move to jump back into the second round after surrendering their own selection to the Jacksonville Jaguars for defensive end Yannick Ngakoue.

However, Minnesota opted against trading up 14 spots into the middle of the second round and they waited until the beginning of the third round to make their next selection. This decision turned out to be very beneficial for the Vikings though since they left the third round with Surratt, Kellen Mond, Wyatt Davis, and Patrick Jones II.

Trading up would’ve likely cost Minnesota at least one of those prospects if not more. Looking back at the information we have now, it appears as if Vikings general manager Rick Spielman made the correct call by staying put with four third-round picks.