Vikings Pre-Senior Bowl 7-Round 2021 NFL Mock Draft

    While the season started with playoff aspirations for the Vikings, it ended in a disappointing 7-9 record while missing the playoffs. This offseason could have huge implications on the Vikings’ future as they are in an unfavorable cap situation and have a potential decision to make at quarterback. We look to address their needs, on offense and defense, in this Vikings 7-round 2021 NFL Mock Draft.
    This mock was a bit challenging because there are multiple roads I could see the Vikings taking. How early do they address the need at guard? They took two cornerbacks high in the 2020 NFL Draft. Would they take another? Above all else, do they take a quarterback?
    Here, I take the best player on the board at a position of need for Minnesota. Unfortunately for Viking fans, there was not a quarterback at pick 14 that fit such requisites.

    Pre-Senior Bowl 7-Round 2021 NFL Mock Draft

    • Round 1, Pick 14: Kwity Paye, EDGE, Michigan
    • Round 3, Pick 78: Marvin Wilson, IDL, Florida State
    • Round 3, Pick 90: Deonte Brown, IOL, Alabama
    • Round 4, Pick 109: Caden Sterns, S, Texas
    • Round 4, Pick 115: Brady Christensen, OT, BYU
    • Round 4, Pick 125: Nico Collins, WR, Michigan
    • Round 5, Pick 140: Ambry Thomas, CB, Michigan
    • Round 5, Pick 154: Jack Anderson, IOL, Texas Tech
    • Round 6, Pick 174: Jordan Scott, IDL, Oregon
    • Round 7, Pick 204: Nick Eubanks, TE, Michigan

    Vikings 2021 NFL Mock Draft pick-by-pick analysis

    Kwity Paye, EDGE, Michigan

    Some believe Kwity Paye is the top edge rusher in the 2021 NFL Draft. Freakish physical flexibility and explosion to combine with being 6’4″ and 271 pounds. Any Minnesota fan that watches college football should know what kind of impact Paye can have on a game, as he utterly dominated the Minnesota Golden Gophers early in the college football season.

    Paye is already a well-developed pass rusher and strong run defender. Therefore, he’s a plug and play guy for Mike Zimmer by day one.

    The Vikings already have an athletic freak rushing off the edge in Danielle Hunter, but he doesn’t currently have someone across from him that can take some of the pressure off his shoulders. Paye provides that, and the Vikings all of a sudden have one of the best young pass rushing duos in the NFL.

    Where’s Trey Lance or Wyatt Davis?

    It’s my understanding that a large section of Viking fans believe that one of Trey Lance and Wyatt Davis are the only options at 14. So why weren’t they selected first in this Vikings 7-round Mock Draft?

    Well, the first one is simple — Lance wasn’t available. Four quarterbacks were selected before the Vikings were on the clock in the simulation, meaning the best passer available would’ve been Mac Jones. Not someone I foresee the Vikings considering at 14th overall.

    As for Wyatt Davis, the positional value just isn’t there. While I’m not against taking a guard top 15 or even top 10, they have to be a transcendent talent to warrant such draft capital. Guys like Quenton Nelson and Brandon Scherff, who scream All-Pro out of the gate, are worthy of such selections.

    Davis isn’t on the level of those players coming out. A player like Paye was available, and it’s just smart team building to take an impact pass rusher over a guard.

    Marvin Wilson, IDL, Florida State

    Wilson was widely considered IDL1 going into the summer but has drastically fallen out of favor recently. He struggled this season and didn’t look like the same player from last year. Many expected Wilson to be a top-20 selection just a few months ago, and now he makes it to Minnesota in the third.

    Don’t be mistaken, though; this is a solid value for the Vikings. A team that lacks any real interior defensive line talent, Wilson provides upside and experience. There are some concerns with Wilson. Still, he’s a great value in this Vikings 2021 NFL Mock Draft.

    Deonte Brown, IOL, Alabama

    The Vikings fans upset that they passed on Wyatt Davis in this Vikings 7-round Mock Draft should love this selection. Brown is like a poor man’s Davis with his elite play strength. He’s not as consistent as a pass protector, but still competent.

    Brown would be the Vikings’ top guard as soon as he enters the building and provides a nasty streak the offensive line lacks. Brown’s film against Auburn is the best showing of his abilities and projection to the next level.

    Caden Sterns, S, Texas

    Anthony Harris’ play took a step back this year, and he’s a free agent. This means free safety is a significant need for the Vikings’ defense. In Round 4, they found great value here in Caden Sterns. Sterns is one of the most natural free safeties in the 2021 draft class.

    Pairing him with an All-Pro like Harrison Smith could be fantastic for his development. Smith would help alleviate some pressure off Sterns, and Sterns could solely focus on being the defenses “center fielder.” With Sterns and Smith paired with Cam Dantzler and Jeff Gladney, that could be a young, excellent secondary.

    Brady Christensen, OT,  BYU

    It never hurts to hedge your bets. While Minnesota did take Ezra Cleveland last year, and Brian O’Neill is a quality right tackle, it doesn’t hurt to add another talent like Christensen. Not the athlete Cleveland is, but Christensen is technically refined and moves smoothly.

    He protected Zach Wilson’s blindside, which is easier said than done. Bring him in to compete for the starting left tackle spot and create competition among the team. Arguably the best value of this Vikings 7-round Mock Draft.

    Nico Collins, WR, Michigan

    Collins opted out of the season but is popular among draft evaluators. He’s an alpha at the catch point and a quality athlete. This led to some thought he could have been a top-50 selection before opting out.

    The Vikings have their WR1 of the future in Justin Jefferson, and Adam Thielen is still an elite receiver, but they lack another talent outside of those two. Collins could be a quality third-option excelling in contested situations and providing a red zone outlet. Whether Collins or another player, I expect the Vikings to bring in a receiver.

    Ambry Thomas, CB, Michigan

    Name a better duo than Mike Zimmer and feisty, physical corners. Thomas brings a lot of physicality with his 6-foot frame and constantly competes at the catch point. He is a bit raw, relying more on his physicality and athleticism more than technique, but he’s a quality addition on Day 3. The Vikings likely decline Mike Hughes’s 5th-year option and don’t have much behind Jeff Gladney and Cam Dantzler.

    Scheme fit, team needs, and player value are all excellent here. Adding Thomas on day three makes a ton of sense for Minnesota in this Vikings 2021 NFL Mock Draft.

    Jack Anderson, IOL, Texas Tech

    Continuing the trend of building the trenches, the Vikings add Texas Tech stalwart Jack Anderson. Anderson is a quality athlete with over 35 career starts at Texas Tech. He’s well-developed, experienced, and at worst, provides quality depth behind Garrett Bradbury.

    Whether it be caused by injury or poor play, Anderson is capable of starting in the NFL as a rookie. Adding players who can immediately help your team is always a quality draft strategy. The Vikings’ offensive and defensive fronts get a major overhaul in this Vikings 2021 NFL Mock Draft.

    Jordan Scott, IDL, Baylor

    Earlier in this Vikings 7-round Mock Draft, Minnesota took Marvin Wilson to be their three-tech and top interior pass rusher. Here they take their nose tackle and now top run defender in Jordan Scott. Scott measures in at about 6’1″ and all of 311 pounds. He has excellent natural play strength and a strong anchor.

    The value of a one-dimensional run-stuffing nose tackle is at an all-time low, but late on Day 3, the Vikings are able to find a starting-caliber player. However, they should still look into finding another interior defender with more pass rushing upside for obvious passing downs.

    Nick Eubanks, TE, Michigan

    Kyle Rudolph is 31 and moving like he’s 41, and while Irv Smith Jr. is the TE1 of the future, Minnesota must find their TE2 soon. The Vikings love to run two tight end sets, something Eubanks could shine in. While acting as the secondary target behind Smith would allow Eubanks athletic ability and natural hands to shine.

    Still, he doesn’t have to become Travis Kelce or George Kittle. He just needs to relieve some of the pressure off of Smith. There were a couple of tight ends I debated here, but Eubanks fit the role the best. The Eubanks selection wraps up this Vikings 2021 NFL Mock Draft.

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