Grading the Minnesota Vikings 2021 rookie class after year one

(Photo by Katelyn Mulcahy/Getty Images) Camryn Bynum
(Photo by Katelyn Mulcahy/Getty Images) Camryn Bynum /
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Minnesota Vikings
(Photo by Brad Rempel-USA TODAY Sports) Zach Davidson /

Zach Davidson – TE

Grade: F

Zach Davidson was taken as a versatile player oozing with upside, but very raw. This cat is technically a tight end, but did some punting in college and is absolutely enormous.

While he was big, he had a horrible preseason. Davidson struggled to catch the football and looked lost the majority of the time. He was cut at the end of the season and signed to the practice squad.

His chances of making the team are up in the air, but if Tyler Conklin leaves the Vikings in free agency that’ll help his chances.

Jaylen Twyman – DT

Grade: F

Jaylen Twyman was taken in the sixth round, and there was some thought he’d come off the board a little higher. He was a high-energy run stuffer at Pittsburgh who could occasionally provide some interior pressure.

Unfortunately, he was shot last summer and was placed on the non-football injury list, putting an end to his season. He should come back and compete for a roster spot in 2022, but he has to be considered a long shot to make the team at this point.

Overall Grade for the 2021 rookie class

Grade: C

The Vikings were never expecting to get a ton of first-year run out of their 2021 NFL Draft class. This was a team that was seen as pretty set on both sides of the ball after being very active in free agency.

There was some thought that Christian Darrisaw and Wyatt Davis would be the only two to have an impact in year one as the rest were high upside players who needed time to groom.

Darrisaw was the shining star of this class, starting 10 games. There were some other highlights too. Kene Nwangwu looks like the next great NFL returner and will give teams headaches for many seasons to come.

Cam Bynum showed a lot of potential and he is a favorite to start in 2022. Ihmir Smith-Marsette was also exciting and should have a role on the offense next season.

While the positives were nice, there were too many misses in year one. Kellen Mond couldn’t fight off Sean Mannion to be the backup.

Davis couldn’t usurp Oli Udoh at left guard, and Chazz Surratt couldn’t get on the field. It was a brutal third round for Spielman and company and that really hurt the overall grade.

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It’s hard to predict how this class will grow and produce over time with a new regime coming in. If the grade is to go up in the coming years, players like Surratt, Mond, and especially Davis will need to step up and see some action.