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Lunchbreak: ESPN Tackles 'Biggest Question' for Vikings & Others After Draft

The Vikings added 11 talented players to their roster through the draft, and that doesn't include college free agents who also will be part of the mix.

But questions still remain for Minnesota and the league's 31 other teams, as ESPN addressed Monday morning.

ESPN beat reporter Courtney Cronin said the biggest post-draft question facing the Vikings is, "Who will start at defensive end opposite Danielle Hunter?" She wrote:

The Vikings made a handful of moves to address their pass rush and came away with two midround defensive ends in Pitt's Patrick Jones II and Florida state's Janarius Robinson. Both have traits Minnesota desires at the position, but how ready is either to compete for a starting job? Jones' collegiate production (17.5 sacks from 2019 to '20, tied for second in the FBS in that span) is more than the Vikings are typically used to seeing from the edge rushers they bring in via the draft. That should give Minnesota hope that he'll either beat out Stephen Weatherly or D.J. Wonnum for the job or carve out a sizeable role in a rotation that will allow the Vikings to get after the quarterback in ways they couldn't last season.

Worth noting is that Minnesota also has Jalyn Holmes, a 2018 fourth-round selection, who started nine games at defensive end in 2020. The Vikings typically rely on a rotational system on defensive line, as well.

ESPN asked who will be Green Bay's quarterback if rumors about Rodgers' displeasure are accurate. And for Chicago, when will the rookie Fields become the starter? Looking at Detroit, who during the offseason acquired Jared Goff in a trade that dealt Matthew Stafford to the Rams, who will emerge as Goff's primary target in 2021? Eric Woodyard weighed in:

All signs point to T.J. Hockenson, and he's currently prepping to be that guy entering Year 3. However, the Lions didn't make it their No. 1 priority to draft a wide receiver early, unlike years past, although it's a spot they need to address after key losses in Kenny Golladay, Marvin Jones, Jr., and Jamal Agnew. The Lions did draft USC WR Amon-Ra St. Brown in the fourth round, but it's still unclear on how the current receiving corps will perform with Quintez Cephus, a 2020 fifth-round pick, returning as the only receiver who had a catch for the team last season.

View college action photos of every Vikings pick from the 2021 NFL Draft. Gives Vikings 'A' Grade for 2021 NFL Draft

The early reports are in, and they look favorable for Minnesota.

Chad Reuter of graded all 32 teams’ moves in the 2021 NFL Draft, handing out letter grades for each day as well as an overall assessment.

Reuter gave the Vikings an overall "A" grade, breaking it down as follows for the team’s 11 draft picks:

Day 1: A+

Day 2: A-

Day 3: B+

Reuter wrote:

The Vikings addressed their need at left tackle ([Christian] Darrisaw) and picked up two third-rounders (while giving up a fourth) in a savvy first-round trade with the Jets. [Kellen] Mond provides much-needed depth behind (and competition for?) Kirk Cousins. Minnesota did well with [its] other three third-round picks: [Chazz] Surratt serves as a fine replacement for Eric Wilson; [Wyatt] Davis is a sturdy guard the team hopes steadies the O-line; [Jones] provides strength off the edge.

[Kene] Nwangnu offers depth at returner but was picked a round too early. [Camryn] Bynum is a versatile defensive back who played cornerback at Cal but was announced at safety, which should play more to his strengths. That said, his tackling must improve to be reliable in that position. Robinson's length and quickness give him a shot to be the team's best pick after Darrisaw. I love [Zach] Davidson's foot quickness and ability to win down the seam.

As for the Vikings division rivals? Reuter also gave the Bears an "A" grade for their seven selections, led by first-round quarterback Justin Fields.

The Packers received an "A," and the Lions received a "B+," with their lowest grade ("C+") coming on Day 2.

Vikings among CBS Sports' 'winners' of 2021 NFL Draft

It's nearly impossible to tell at this point how every team's draft selections will pan out, but as noted in the above excerpt, early feedback is coming in from analysts around the country.

Cody Benjamin of CBS Sports recently tabbed nine “winners” and five “losers” of the 2021 NFL Draft, and he included Minnesota in the first group. Benjamin noted Darrisaw, Mond and Surratt as the Vikings "most notable" picks. He wrote:

Darrisaw would've been totally acceptable at No. 14 overall, but the Vikings got him at No. 23 after a move down. That's a starting left tackle right there, with more long-term upside than the departed Riley Reiff. Surratt is an athletic specimen for a LB corps that lost Eric Wilson. And Mond is the most intriguing of them all: A confident, rocket-armed project who can push or challenge Kirk Cousins.

Also listed as Benjamin's winners were Baltimore, Carolina, Chicago, Cleveland, the New York Giants, Philadelphia, San Francisco and Washington.

Interestingly, although's Reuter gave Green Bay an "A" for their its selections, Benjamin slated the Packers among this year's "losers." He tabbed CB Eric Stokes, C Josh Myers and WR Amari Rodgers as their most notable picks.

They added some dynamism at CB and WR, with Rodgers in particular bringing some long-awaited juice to the slot spot, but Myers – a traditional center – was arguably a reach in the second, even if Corey Linsley's departure rang loud and clear. More importantly, they entered and left the draft without anything close to a resolution with Aaron Rodgers, who appears set on leaving town.

The other "losers" according to Benjamin were Denver, Indianapolis, Las Vegas and New Orleans.