The Minnesota Vikings will hope to continue their fantastic offseason as they currently pick at number 14 in the first round of the 2021 NFL Draft. The Vikings have already put in some work this offseason as they signed cornerback Patrick Peterson, linebacker Nick Vigil, and defensive tackle Dalvin Tomlinson.
The Vikings will now look to add to their successful offseason as the 2021 NFL Draft approaches. The Vikings still have some gaping holes that need to be addressed, and the Vikings very well may have to some dirty work in this year’s draft to set them up for success.
Everyone knows how successful their 2020 first-round draft pick panned out to be in wide receiver Justin Jefferson, and they will look to continue that draft day success this year. The Vikings have a solid core to build around in Kirk Cousins, Dalvin Cook, and Jefferson, and they will be looking to build up their roster during the NFL Draft.
Minnesota will have some hard competition in the Green bay Packers and Chicago Bears in 2021, but if they have a good draft night they just may be able to contend for the postseason. Let’s take a look at three intriguing options the Vikings could consider drafting with their number 14 overall pick in the 2021 NFL Draft.
Number One: Alijah Vera-Tucker, Offensive Tackle, USC
The Vikings are going to need to address their obvious hole on the offensive line if they hope to sniff postseason football and USC’s Alijah Vera-Tucker could help them address that. They released their veteran offensive tackle, Riley Reiff, this offseason and they will need to point their focus to the offensive line if they hope to regain some consistency on offense.
One of the most underrated offensive line prospects in the entire NFL Draft is Vera-Tucker. Vera-Tucker has the size, speed, and strength that NFL general managers drool over and his play would transition well to the NFL level. Vera-Tucker is a perfect player for a team who needs to address their offensive line unit as a whole due to his ability to play on the exterior or interior of the offensive line.
Sure, the Vikings would likely rather draft a luxury piece here rather than an offensive lineman, but they need to get the dirty work done now to set themselves up for success in the future. If the Vikings picked up Alijah Vera-Tucker, they wouldn’t be disappointed.
Number Two: Gregory Rousseau, EDGE, Miami
Minnesota should consider using their number 14 overall pick to address their gaping hole on the offensive line, but in typical Vikings fashion they could snag a raw edge rusher with loads of potential. Gregory Rousseau is widely regarded as the best edge rusher in the 2021 NFL Draft, but he is certainly a developmental piece that the Vikings could spend some time and effort developing.
Rousseau has all the tools and the physical stature to be an exciting NFL edge rusher, but he does lack some motor and discipline at times. Rousseau sat out the 2020 season to prepare for the NFL, and the Vikings could take a chance on the untapped potential that Rousseau has. In basically one full season at Miami, Rousseau logged 59 total tackles, 19.5 tackles for a loss, 15.5 sacks, and two forced fumbles.
He gives me flashes of what Marcus Davenport was labeled as when he entered the NFL a few seasons ago before the New Orleans Saints took a chance on him. Davenport has panned out to be a solid defensive end for the Saints and the Vikings could snag a great talent in Gregory Rousseau as well.
Number Three: Rashawn Slater, Offensive Tackle, Northwestern
The Vikings really need to address their offensive line in the first round of the 2021 NFL Draft and one player that would surely help them do that is Northwestern’s Rashawn Slater. Slater, a 6-foot-4 and 315-pound offensive tackle out of Northwestern, could surely help them reignite the impressive offensive line the Vikings once had.
The reason that Slater checks in at number three on our list of prospects they should consider is because of the fact that he simply may not be available this late into the NFL Draft. Slater is on some draft boards as a better offensive tackle than Oregon’s Penei Sewell and he could easily be gone in the draft’s first 12 picks. The Vikings, unfortunately, may just miss out on landing one of the best offensive tackles in recent drafts.
Slater is, in my opinion, the most NFL ready offensive tackle in this NFL Draft class and he could work wonders on the Vikings’ offensive line. If Slater falls to the Vikings, it has to be a no-brainer selection just like Justin Jefferson was a year ago.