MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) — The 2021 NFL draft is on the horizon, and the Minnesota Vikings have plenty of work to do. Here’s your all-in-one guide to the Vikings’ 2021 draft.
WHEN IS THE 2021 NFL DRAFT?
The draft is scheduled for Thursday, April 29 through Saturday, May 1. The first round will take place Thursday starting at 7 p.m., with rounds two and three following on Friday at 6 p.m.. The final four rounds will happen Saturday beginning at 11 a.m. The draft will take place in Cleveland.
HOW MANY PICKS DO THE VIKINGS HAVE?
The Vikings currently have 10 total picks in the draft. They started the offseason with 10, earned two more compensatory picks from the league, then forfeited their seventh-rounder due to a salary cap violation and traded a sixth-rounder to the Arizona Cardinals for offensive lineman Mason Cole.
Here are the picks as they stand now:
- First round, 14th overall
- Third round, 78th overall
- Third round, 90th overall
- Fourth round, 119th overall
- Fourth round, 125th overall
- Fourth round, 134th overall
- Fourth round, 143rd overall
- Fifth round, 157th overall
- Fifth round, 168th overall
- Sixth round, 199th overall
General manager Rick Spielman is well-known for wheeling and dealing during the draft. Last year, he made four trades during the draft, including moving back from the 25th pick to the 31st pick in the first round.
WHAT ARE THE VIKINGS’ POSITIONS OF NEED?
CBS Sports’ Cody Benjamin identified quarterback, offensive and defensive line and the secondary as areas of need for the Vikings.
Kirk Cousins is under contract through the 2022 season, but the Vikings could be looking for a long-term replacement sooner rather than later. In his latest mock draft, CBS Sports’ Pete Prisco has the team taking North Dakota State University quarterback Trey Lance with the 14th pick.
While many mocks have him going earlier, a draft day fall for a heralded quarterback prospect is not uncommon. It happened to the Vikings in 2014, when they traded back into the first round to take Teddy Bridgewater. It’s worth noting that Lance is a native of Marshall, Minnesota, and reportedly wanted to play at the University of Minnesota, but they wanted him to change positions.
The Vikings are loaded on the interior of the defensive line — 2020 free agency signee Michael Pierce will play his first snaps for the team this year after opting out of last season due to COVID, and the team added Dalvin Tomlinson from the New York Giants this offseason. But they could certainly use help at defensive end. Danielle Hunter is a star player, but he missed the entire 2020 season with a neck injury and reports this offseason indicated he may seek a trade if the team doesn’t give him a new contract.
The offensive line is a constant need for the Vikings. They cut last year’s starting left tackle, Riley Reiff, earlier this offseason. They should seek to replace him and find some depth or possible starters on the interior in the early rounds of the draft.
The Vikings focused on their secondary in free agency, signing former Cardinal Patrick Peterson, safety Xavier Woods from the Cowboys and corner Mackensie Alexander, who returns to the team after a one-year stint with the Bengals. But with 2020 first-round pick Jeff Gladney charged with third-degree felony assault for allegedly hitting, strangling and dragging a woman outside of a moving vehicle, the team could look to add more depth through the draft.
HAVE THE VIKINGS EVER HAD THE 14TH PICK BEFORE?
The Vikings have drafted at 14th overall twice in their history — two years in a row, actually, in 1986 and 1987. They took defensive end Gerald Robinson and running back D.J. Dozier, respectively.
Robinson played two years for the Vikings and had only 3.5 sacks. Dozier was with the team until 1991, never topping the 257 rushing yards he had in his rookie year.
WHO’S GOING TO BE THE NO. 1 OVERALL PICK?
The Jacksonville Jaguars currently hold the first pick in the draft, and they’re expected to take Clemson quarterback Trevor Lawrence.