4 Vikings players who could emerge as alphas in 2021

(Brad Rempel-USA TODAY Sports) Justin Jefferson
(Brad Rempel-USA TODAY Sports) Justin Jefferson /
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Minnesota Vikings
(Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports) Christian Darrisaw /

Christian Darrisaw – OT

Releasing Riley Reiff this offseason was a necessary evil for the Minnesota Vikings in the current financial climate. There was nothing wrong with the veteran’s production in 2020, but it didn’t make much sense to keep him around when one considers the savings involved.

Addressing the blindside protection was a top priority for the Vikings head into the 2021 NFL Draft. As luck would have it, Christian Darrisaw fell into their laps at No. 23 overall following a trade down.

The former Virginia Tech star certainly ticks all the boxes. Darrisaw is athletic, aggressive, and technically sound, something that should place him as a Day 1 starter opposite stud right tackle Brian O’Neill on the edge.

Darrisaw drew praise from O’Neill during Minnesota’s recent OTAs, which is a solid foundation from which to build.

It’s a big few months for the rookie as he looks to hit the ground running when competitive action gets underway and the Vikings are counting on him to fill the void left by Reiff and perhaps even exceed his production in 2021.

There will be plenty of responsibility on Darrisaw’s shoulders right from the outset. This is a challenge he is sure to relish and providing his transition to the next level is a smooth one, the rookie could emerge as a dominant force as the campaign goes on.