The Minnesota Vikings weren't afraid to spend money in 2021 NFL free agency, adding former Giants defensive tackle Dalvin Tomlinson on a two-year, $21 million deal and signing former Cardinals star Patrick Peterson to start at cornerback. But they've still got plenty to address in April's draft, where they'll have 10 picks to add to their roster, including the No. 14 overall selection. Which rookies could be on their radar? Which positions will they prioritize?
Here's one stab at how the Vikings' entire 2021 draft will play out:
|Round (Overall Pick)||Prospect||College|
OL Alijah Vera-Tucker
DE Payton Turner
|LB JaCoby Stevens|
|QB Davis Mills|
WR Shi Smith
OT Alaric Jackson
S Christian Uphoff
|5 (157)||CB Kary Vincent Jr.||LSU|
|5 (168)||OG Stewart Reese||Florida|
|6 (199)||TE Josh Pederson||Louisiana-Monroe|
If it feels like the Vikings need offensive line help every year, that's because they do. Even with 2020 second-rounder Ezra Cleveland slotting in as a starting guard, Minnesota could stand to add starting-caliber players at tackle and guard before kicking off in September. Vera-Tucker, at No. 14, would offer the versatility to man either spot from the get-go, though he's probably best suited for the inside early on. Some consider him one of the safest prospects of the 2021 class, which should sound like music to the Vikings' ears if they desire a sturdier front for another run-heavy offense. Is it sexy? Not really, but it'd be smart.
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Without a second-rounder this year, the Vikings will need to maximize their collection of Day Two and Day Three picks to plug other holes. Though Danielle Hunter will probably be back, disgruntled or not, they still need more depth off the edge, which is where Turner comes in. Stevens, in the third, would arguably be an underrated addition to a group that lost Eric Wilson and could lose Anthony Barr sooner rather than later. But the real juice comes with their fourth and fifth picks here: Some Vikings fans inevitably won't like spending a fourth on a quarterback, but Mills would fit their mold as more of an old-fashioned pocket passer. Smith, meanwhile, could bring smaller, shiftier, speedier depth to the No. 3 WR spot.
The Vikings' final five picks here are spread across the board. Uphoff might be better suited at corner in the NFL, but that wouldn't be bad news for the Vikings, with Peterson only in town on a one-year deal. Vincent might see his stock rise after blazing test results at LSU's pro day, but he'd be an exciting project at slot corner, where Mackensie Alexander's return to Minnesota feels like a shorter-term fix. Reese would provide more beef up front, meanwhile, and Pederson -- son of ex-Eagles coach Doug Pederson -- could offer depth at tight end, where Kyle Rudolph departed this offseason.