Minnesota Vikings NFL Draft Picks & Grades 2021

The Minnesota Vikings are a team that has some encouraging young talent, such as Justin Jefferson. However, there are holes on a once-vaunted defense, and the offensive line is still a problem. The real question will be, how can the Vikings build the team out properly even with lots of holes? What grades did the Vikings’ 2021 NFL Draft picks get?

Vikings draft picks in 2021

  • 23rd Overall Selection (R1-P23, from Seattle): Christian Darrisaw, OT, Virginia Tech
  • 66th Overall Selection (R3-P2, from New York Jets): Kellen Mond, QB, Texas A&M
  • 78th Overall Selection (R3-P15): Chazz Surratt, LB, North Carolina
  • 86th Overall Selection (R3-P22, from Seattle): Wyatt Davis, OG, Ohio State
  • 90th Overall Selection (R3-P26, from Baltimore): Patrick Jones II, EDGE, Pittsburgh
  • 119th Overall Selection (R4-P14): Kene Nwangwu, RB, Iowa State
  • 125th Overall Selection (R4-P20, from Chicago): Camryn Bynum, CB, California
  • 134th Overall Selection (R4-R29, from Buffalo): Janarius Robinson, EDGE, Florida State
  • 157th Overall Selection (R5-P13): Ihmir Smith-Marsette, WR, Iowa
  • 168th Overall Selection (R5-P24, from Pittsburgh through Baltimore): Zach Davidson, TE, Central Missouri
  • 199th Overall Selection (R6-P15): Jaylen Twyman, DT, Pitt

Who did the Vikings draft on Day 1?

With the 23rd overall pick, the Minnesota Vikings selected Virginia Tech offensive tackle Christian Darrisaw.

Minnesota Vikings grades for 2021 NFL Draft

After trading back and acquiring two picks on Day 2, the Vikings still somehow manage to get one of the best tackles in the class in Darrisaw.

Christian Darrisaw, OT, Virginia Tech

Darrisaw is a smooth tackle who can move with ease. His light footwork with his size is phenomenal. The need at tackle for the Vikings was huge, and this is a big-time pick to improve the line.

Not only does it give the Vikings a franchise left tackle, but it allows the offense to have one of the better offensive lines they have had with Kirk Cousins at the helm of the offense. Overall, Rick Spielman did a phenomenal job.

Grade: A+

Kellen Mond, QB, Texas A&M

The Vikings are adding a mobile, strong-armed quarterback in Texas A&M’s Kellen Mond. Mond’s inconsistency, however, is going to be an absolutely massive downer for his stock to be a potential franchise QB. His mental processing, especially post-snap processing, will have to improve. Kirk Cousins is nothing special, but Mond is unlikely to be the answer with his inconsistency that has never cleaned up.

Grade: C

Chazz Surratt, LB, North Carolina

The Vikings added in a former quarterback who converted to linebacker in Chazz Surratt. A quick, instinctive football player, Surratt’s quarterback background allows him to process the field in front of him as well as anyone in this class. He does lack length and can get swallowed up by blocks at the second level. However, Surratt brings a level of stability and athleticism that is needed to go with Eric Kendricks.

Grade: B

Wyatt Davis, OG, Ohio State

The Minnesota Vikings add a powerful, talented guard in Wyatt Davis. This is phenomenal value, and this team needed to overhaul the offensive line that has been an issue for years. With Darrisaw and Davis now in the fold, the Vikings should be very good up front. Davis must work on his pad level and hand placement, but he has a high ceiling to be a cornerstone for the Vikings.

Grade: A

Patrick Jones II, EDGE, Pittsburgh

Patrick Jones is a talented, athletic edge who should allow the Vikings to add a key rusher opposite of Danielle Hunter. With a slight frame, Jones will still lack some strength to convert speed-to-power, but he has flexibility and plenty of moves to win with speed around the edge.

There is still room to grow into his frame to potentially develop some power moves to take the next step up. Overall, this is a solid pick, but Jones will take some time to get up to speed.

Grade: B+

Kene Nwangwu, RB, Iowa State

A perfect zone-running scheme back, Kene Nwangwu is a guy that has plenty of speed to burn. He sat behind two talented running backs in the Iowa State offense, but Nwangwu is shifty, elusive, and can be a dynamic back behind of Dalvin Cook.

Grade: B-

Camryn Bynum, CB, California

The Vikings add a cornerback with incredible football IQ and leadership in Camryn Bynum. Bynum is one of the headiest players in the cornerback class. He does lack some athletic traits which are concerning, but the Vikings should be getting a sub-package defender with plus playmaking skills.

Grade: B

Janarius Robinson, EDGE, Florida State

The Vikings continue to add to their edge rusher room with a long, explosive player in Janarius Robinson. Robinson has lots of high-upside traits. However, he lacks counters and his durability is certainly a question. If he can mold those tools into a more cohesive pass rush plan, the Vikings could be rewarded with a solid pick.

Grade: B

Ihmir Smith-Marsette, WR, Iowa

A dynamic speedster who can absolutely fly, Ihmir Smith-Marsette will give the Vikings yet another dynamic option in their already solid wide receiver corps. Smith-Marsette should fit in nicely as a guy who can make tough catches over the middle and stretch the field as a Z-receiver. Overall, this is great value at a position where they needed to add depth.

Grade: A

Zach Davidson, TE, Central Missouri

The Vikings add a traitsy and smooth football player in Zach Davidson. Davidson is a mismatch problem when split out wide and up the seams. He has great combat catch ability and shows off some shiftiness in the open field. He’s raw and must develop as a blocker, but as a guy with high upside, this makes a lot of sense.

Grade: B

Jaylen Twyman, DT, Pittsburgh

A man who is as strong as an ox and has an array of moves to work with, Jaylen Twyman is a guy with upside who should slot in nicely with Minnesota’s interior defensive line. He lacks consistent pad level and explosiveness, but if he can use his natural height disposition and fix his pad level, Twyman can be a steal.

Grade: A-

Minnesota Vikings Overall Grade: A

The Vikings come away from the draft with a bevy of talented players, and all at positions of need. Between the trade back to land Christian Darrisaw, and the value picks of Wyatt Davis, Patrick Jones, Ihmir Smith-Marsette, and Jaylen Twyman, the Vikings came away with a nice haul. Kellen Mond is still a little head-scratching, and I’m not as high on Chazz Surratt as others, but overall, this will lay a nice foundation for the Vikings to get back into the playoffs.

Team needs for Minnesota coming into the NFL Draft

The Vikings have a plethora of needs ahead of the 2021 NFL Draft.

Offensive Line

A team that could use a guard or a tackle, the Vikings certainly need to protect Cousins. Ezra Cleveland can move outside or stay inside, and the team should be confident with what they do. Regardless, this is a position that has to be addressed.

EDGE

Danielle Hunter is a bit of a lone wolf right now. In order to take some attention off the young stud pass rusher, the Vikings should look to add a dangerous pass rusher on the opposite side of him.

Cornerback

Despite attacking the position hard last year, cornerback is still a question mark for the Vikings. Jeff Gladney left more questions than answers and while there is young talent, adding a good value cornerback is not out the question.

Safety

They lost Anthony Harris and added Xavier Woods, but it should certainly not prevent the Vikings from attacking the position if the right safety comes around. Harrison Smith is not exactly getting any younger either.

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