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Vikings 2021 Mock Draft Tracker: Version 5.0

EAGAN, Minn. — Draft season is in full swing.

That was evident by multiple trades last week that shook up the top dozen spots in the 2021 NFL Draft, which is slated to be held from April 29 to May 1. The first round will be on April 29, followed by Rounds 2 and 3 on April 30 and the final four rounds on May 1.

(Note: some of the mock drafts below were published before the announced trades).

The Vikings still currently have the 14th overall pick after Minnesota went 7-9 in 2020, finishing in third place in the NFC North. Minnesota has drafted at No. 14 overall twice in team history, doing so in back-to-back years in 1986 and 1987.

The Vikings currently hold 10 overall picks. Minnesota does not have a second-rounder but has a pair of third-round selections plus four picks in the fourth round.

Here is the fifth edition of our Vikings 2021 Mock Draft Tracker, which includes 18 mock drafts (with 19 total first-round predictions) from across the football world.

More than half of those experts (10) project a first-round offensive lineman to the Vikings, with edge rusher being mentioned eight times. The final projection was for a linebacker.

Here's a look at our fifth Vikings 2021 Mock Draft Tracker:

ESPN's Mel Kiper, Jr.

March 23, 2021

TRADE: Vikings move up to No. 9 spot in trade with Broncos, who drop to 14th overall.


The predicted pick at No. 9: Penei Sewell, Tackle, Oregon

With top offensive tackle Penei Sewell still on the board, I'm projecting the Vikings to move up five spots to get their instant starter at left tackle. That could cost a lot of capital. … This would likely cost at least Minnesota's second-rounder in 2022 and likely more.

I like the fit here, particularly with Riley Reiff leaving in free agency. Sewell is an elite talent, and if this quarterback class wasn't so strong, he might be a lock for the top five. The Vikings have had offensive line issues for years, but Sewell would plug their hole on the left side. An elite O-line covers up roster flaws, and this is a step toward improving the entire offense. If Minnesota stays at No. 14 or does the opposite approach and trades down, keep an eye on safety. With Anthony Harris gone in free agency, there's a void there next to Harrison Smith.

Note: The Vikings announced the signing of Xavier Woods Monday after Kiper's post.

Click here for Kiper's full mock draft.'s Chad Reuter (four rounds)

March 26, 2021


The predicted pick at No. 14: Alijah Vera-Tucker, Guard/Tackle, Southern California

The Vikings released starting left tackle Riley Reiff before free agency began, so finding a new blind-side blocker for Kirk Cousins appears to be on the draft menu. Vera-Tucker's arm length (32 1/8 inches) might force teams to rate him as a guard, but Indianapolis right tackle Braden Smith has showed arm length isn't everything — he measured 32 1/4 inches at the 2018 NFL Scouting Combine, and he has since established himself as a successful member of one of the NFL's top O-lines. Even if Vera-Tucker has to slide inside eventually, the Vikings could really use help there. If the Vikings find value in another tackle later in the draft (as I project in Round 4 of this exercise), they could push Vera-Tucker inside right away and play the team's best five linemen.

The predicted pick at No. 78: Kyle Trask, Quarterback, Florida

The predicted pick at No. 90: Tylan Wallace, Wide Receiver, Oklahoma State

The predicted pick at No. 119: Walker Little, Tackle, Stanford

The predicted pick at No. 125: Kylen Granson, Tight End, SMU

The predicted pick at No. 134: Quincy Roche, Edge Rusher, Miami

The predicted pick at No. 143: Divine Deable, Safety, Virginia Tech

Click here for Reuter's full mock draft.'s Bucky Brooks

March 23, 2021


The predicted pick at No. 14: Kwity Paye, Edge Rusher, Michigan

The Vikings need to find a dominant edge rusher to pair with (or replace) Danielle Hunter and help Mike Zimmer generate more pressure at the point of attack.

Click here for Brooks' full mock draft.

Austin Gayle of Pro Football Focus

March 29, 2021

The predicted pick at No. 14: Kwity Paye, Edge Rusher, Michigan

Paye is a rare athlete who won't last deep into the first round if he tests as well as expected at [his pro day]. He also produced the fourth-best PFF pass-rush win rate (26 percent) of any Power Five edge defender in the country in 2020.

Click here for Gayle's full mock draft.

Mike Renner of Pro Football Focus

March 22, 2021

The predicted pick at No. 14: Christian Darrisaw, Tackle, Virginia Tech

It's unclear what the plan is with tackle-turned-guard Ezra Cleveland going forward, but adding offensive tackles is never a bad thing. Darrisaw dominated a season ago, earning the highest grade in the Power 5.

Click here for Renner's full mock draft.

Chad Graff and Arif Hasan of The Athletic (three rounds)

March 29, 2021

Graff's predicted pick at No. 14: Alijah Vera-Tucker, Guard/Tackle, Southern California

[Vikings GM Rick] Spielman was at Vera-Tucker's pro day last week and got a firsthand look at one of the top offensive linemen available in this draft. Scouts are still undecided as to whether he projects more as a tackle or guard after playing both positions in college. But that's not terribly important to the Vikings, who have needs at both guard and tackle. They could pretty much pencil in Vera-Tucker as a Day 1 starter. The real dream might be Northwestern's Rashawn Slater falling to No. 14, but it doesn't help the Vikings that the Chargers, another team with offensive line needs, pick right before them.

Hasan's predicted pick at No. 14: Samuel Cosmi, Tackle, Texas

I can't really make a positional value argument here because drafting a tackle is the same as drafting a guard if the Vikings are going to move the loser of the left tackle competition to guard. Still, I'd rather make sure that whoever wins that job is the best possible player given the importance of tackle relative to guard. Cosmi is one of the best athletic testers we've seen at the position, comparable to Tristan Wirfs from last year, and was one of the best tackles in college football last year. He has technical work he needs to do, but that sounds a lot like Ezra Cleveland and Brian O'Neill anyway.

Graff's predicted pick at No. 78: Paris Ford, Safety, Pittsburgh

If there were high-end safeties available, I think the Vikings would consider them at No. 14. But since there may not be anyone at the position taken in the first round, I expect safety to be a top target for the Vikings in the third round — or potentially even as a second-round option if they trade up. In Ford, the Vikings would get a safety who can cover a lot of ground and ball-hawk in a zone defense. And given the Vikings current depth chart at the position, he'd have a chance to start right away.

Hasan's predicted pick at No. 78: Ben Cleveland, Guard, Georgia

I can't think of a better way to make Vikings fans happier than double-dipping on the offensive line. Cleveland, like Cosmi, was a remarkable athletic tester. That testing didn't always show up on the field, and he won more with (a lot of) power than speed, but he was nevertheless an effective zone blocker and pass protector with more potential to unlock. Aside from the confusion of having a pair of guards named "Cleveland," I think Vikings fans might be relieved to see their team taking a big player and having him shed some pounds for movement capability rather than taking an undersized athlete and hoping he adds strength.

Graff's predicted pick at No. 90: Dayo Odeyingbo, Edge Rusher, Vanderbilt

After declining to tender Ifeadi Odenigbo, the Vikings could badly use another defensive end to compete with Stephen Weatherly and D.J. Wonnum for the starting job opposite Danielle Hunter. While it's unclear whether Odeyingbo is a better fit for defensive tackle or defensive end, the Vikings like prospects like that and can trust Andre Patterson to bring out the best in the 6-foot-6 lineman.

Hasan's predicted pick at No. 90: Rashad Weaver, Edge Rusher, Pittsburgh

It's a good idea to take a look at lengthy edge rushers given their history, and though Weaver doesn't quite have the length of Odeyingbo, he's got some reach to him and he knows how to use it. A bigger player with good numbers and considered one of the best run-defending edge defenders in the draft, Weaver has a lot of pass-rush potential, especially with his eye-popping three-cone of 6.97 seconds.

Click here for The Athletic's full mock draft.

Ryan Wilson of CBS Sports

March 29, 2021

The predicted pick at No. 14: Kwity Paye, Edge Rusher, Michigan

This has been a popular pairing, and Paye did nothing to change our minds after a strong pro day performance.

Click here for Wilson's full mock draft.

Chris Trapasso of CBS Sports

March 24, 2021

The predicted pick at No. 14: Kwity Paye, Edge Rusher, Michigan

Paye's arsenal of pass-rush moves is growing, and he's a big, freaky athlete. This is the type of defensive lineman the Vikings need.

Click here for Trapasso's full mock draft.

Josh Edwards of CBS Sports

March 26, 2021

The predicted pick at No. 14: Gregory Rousseau, Edge Rusher, Miami

Minnesota adds length to its defense and fills a big need for additional pass rush help opposite Danielle Hunter.

Click here for Edwards' full mock draft.

The Ringer's Danny Kelly

March 26, 2021

The predicted pick at No. 14: Azeez Ojulari, Edge Rusher, Georgia

The Vikings have been relatively quiet in free agency, with their two most notable signings being cornerback Patrick Peterson and defensive tackle Dalvin Tomlinson. They won't be enough to turn the Minnesota defense around. This team also has to rebuild its pass rush, and Ojulari would be a good start: Though he's undersized, he brings explosiveness and bend to the edge and could thrive opposite Danielle Hunter.

Click here for Kelly's full mock draft.

Nate Davis of USA TODAY

March 27, 2021

The predicted pick at No. 14: Gregory Rousseau, Edge Rusher, Miami

The Vikes had an NFC-low 23 sacks in 2020, [with Head Coach] Mike Zimmer saying of his defense: "worst one I've ever had." Rousseau, who's only 20, had 15.5 sacks in 2019, winning Atlantic Coast Conference Defensive Rookie of the Year honors before opting out in 2020. His 6-7 frame also makes him a threat to bat down balls when he can't get to the quarterback.

Click here for Davis' full mock draft.

Doug Farrar of USA TODAY

March 22, 2021

The predicted pick at No. 14: Jaelan Phillips, Edge Rusher, Miami

The Vikings defense fell apart from front to back in 2020, falling from fourth in 2019 to 18th in 2020, and a lot of that had to do with a mostly absent pass rush. Ifeadi Odenigbo led the team with 42 total pressures; D.J. Wonnum ranked second with 21. You don't always want to draft high for need, but this is a NEED. It didn't help that Danielle Hunter missed the entire 2020 season with a herniated disc in his neck, and he'll obviously help if he comes back healthy, but the Vikings weren't able to do anything in free agency to help the edge. There was the signing of defensive tackle Dalvin Tomlinson, and that's a sneaky-good addition, but it's time to give Mike Zimmer an elite edge-rusher in the draft — in fact, the guy in Phillips who is the best edge defender in this class.

Phillips has an interesting history. The former UCLA star left football after suffering wrist and head injuries in a 2018 scooter accident and concussions on the field, but returned with the Hurricanes for a 2020 season in which he amassed eight sacks, four quarterback hits, and 29 quarterback hurries. His combination of speed, technique, and power puts him above everyone else at his position among those available in the draft, and the injury risks appear to be in the past. The Vikings should go after this with a quickness if Phillips is still on the board.

Click here for Farrar's full mock draft.

Jason Pruett of DRAFTPLEX

March 24, 2021

The predicted pick at No. 14: Christian Darrisaw, Tackle, Virginia Tech

If they don't attempt to move down to recoup additional picks, expect the Vikings to prioritize either the offensive or defensive edge with their first pick. In this scenario, Christian Darrisaw steps in as the new starting left tackle following the release of Riley Reiff.

Click here for Pruett's full mock draft.

Drae Harris of The Draft Network

March 29, 2021

TRADE: Minnesota moves back to No. 19 in a deal with Washington.

The predicted pick at No. 19: Christian Darrisaw, Tackle, Virginia Tech

Minnesota's offensive line has been one of the worst in the NFL. They cut Riley Reiff and draft his replacement Christian Darrisaw. Darrisaw becomes their Day 1 starter as they look to rebuild their offensive line through the draft.

Click here for Harris' full mock draft.

Kyle Crabbs of The Draft Network

March 28, 2021

The predicted pick at No. 14: Alijah Vera-Tucker, Guard/Tackle, Southern California

Click here for Crabbs' full mock draft.

Joe Marino of The Draft Network

March 20, 2021

The predicted pick at No. 14: Samuel Cosmi, Tackle, Texas

After moving on from Reiff at left tackle, Minnesota needs to rebuild the entire left side of its offensive line and Cosmi is their type. Cut from the same cloth as Ezra Cleveland and Brian O'Neill, Cosmi is an athletic blocker but I believe he has even more power than Cleveland or O'Neill. He fits well with the wide zone rushing attack in Minnesota and helps make sure Dalvin Cook has the blocking needed to continue his role as the offensive catalyst in Minnesota. Cosmi needs some technical work in pass pro, but he has the tools to develop.

Click here for Marino's full mock draft.

Matthew Valdovinos of Pro Football Network

March 28, 2021

The predicted pick at No. 14: Jeremiah Owusu-Koramoah, Linebacker, Notre Dame

In an era of space-predicated offense, it's a requisite to have players who can lock up in man coverage both in the secondary and in your linebacker unit. Here, the Vikings invest heavily in the idea of versatility, adding Jeremiah Owusu-Koramoah to a room that already has Eric Kendricks and Anthony Barr.

With Barr as the SAM, Kendricks as the MIKE, and JOK as the WILL, the Vikings could realistically run their base defense without sacrificing any coverage ability. Not a likely outcome, but one that I'm certainly interested in.

Click here for Valdovinos' full mock draft.

Nick Farabaugh of Pro Football Network

March 29, 2021

TRADE: Vikings move up to No. 9 spot in trade with Broncos, who drop to 14**th**overall. Minnesota gave up picks Nos. 14 (first round), 78 (third round), 143 (fourth round) and a 2022 second-round pick to the Broncos for the ninth pick.

The predicted pick at No. 9: Rashawn Slater, Tackle, Northwestern

The Vikings are getting aggressive here. They have had issues on their offensive line for years. Right now, there seems to be an obvious hole at left tackle. To protect Kirk Cousins at a higher level, the Vikings make sure they leapfrog their adversaries to get their guy in Rashawn Slater.

Slater's athleticism and excellent balance make him stable at tackle despite his less than ideal length. Getting better in the trenches was huge for Minnesota, and they get it done here.

Click here for Farabaugh's full mock draft.