Skip to main content

News | Minnesota Vikings –

Vikings 2021 Draft Report Card: Vikings Receive High Marks for 11-Player Class

EAGAN, Minn. – The 2021 NFL Draft is in the books, which means it's time for instant analysis via draft grades.

And while most drafts usually aren't fully assessed until two or three years down the line, experts and analysts from around the football word like what Vikings General Manager Rick Spielman and his staff did last week.

This is a comprehensive roundup of 21 draft grades for Minnesota's 2021 draft class of 11 players, a group that began with first-rounder Christian Darrisaw and ended with sixth-round pick Jaylen Twyman.

Fifteen of the 21 draft grades below were "B+" or better.

For those who like visuals, René Bugner on Twitter compiled some draft grades into this colorful chart:

Here's what the experts had to say:

Sheil Kapadia, The Athletic

Grade: A

The Vikings finished the draft having made 11 selections, including five in the top 100. Not many teams seem to have a sounder process than them when it comes to the draft.

Click here for Kapadia's full grades.

Pete Prisco, CBS Sports

Grade: A

They had a lot of picks by virtue of trading down and they landed a lot of good players. Rick Spielman and gang had three really good days. They fixed the offensive line with Darrisaw and Wyatt Davis and added some defensive talent in the later rounds. Keep an eye on sixth-round pick Jalen Twyman.

Click here for Prisco's full grades.

Eric Edholm, Yahoo Sports

Grade: C+

Once again, the Vikings had a successful run of picks, building off a strong 2020 class. The QB situation, however, left a bad taste in our mouths. It had the look and feel of a very safe approach, with plenty of dart throws as always.

Click here for Edholm's full grades.

Chad Reuter,

Grade: A

The Vikings addressed their need at left tackle (Darrisaw) and picked up two third-rounders (while giving up a fourth) in a savvy first-round trade with the Jets. Mond provides much-needed depth behind (and competition for?) Kirk Cousins.

Click here for Reuter's full grades.

Ryan Fowler, The Draft Network

Grade: A

General Manager Rick Spielman's haul rivals as tops in the class. While you're here, check out Kene Nwangwu's player profile and get familiar with him, he'll be around for a while. He and Ihmir Smith-Marsette provide two track stars for the Kirk Cousins-led offense.

Click here for Fowler's full grades.

Ben Rolfe, Pro Football Network

Grade: A

The headline selection from this draft could be Kellen Mond if they can develop him. However, initially, that is perhaps the weakest selection of the Minnesota Vikings' draft class.

Click here for Rolfe's full grades.

Tim Bielik,

Grade: A-

The Vikings got off to a great start picking up a steal in Christian Darrisaw at No. 23. They made some impressive picks later on including Wyatt Davis, Patrick Jones II and Jaylen Twyman. I don't mind the Kellen Mond pick.

Click here for Bielik's full grades.

Grade: B+

Of their first nine picks, seven of them scored either a "B+" or a "B" grade. The Vikings did a good job of filling their needs, with Wyatt Davis providing anther offensive line upgrade.

Click here for's full grades.

Danny Kelly, The Ringer

Grade: B-

I also like their Surratt pick, as he's an ascending playmaker who's new to the linebacker position but has already shown excellent instincts.

Click here for Kelly's full grades.

Doug Farrar and Michael Schofield, TD Wire (USA TODAY Sports)

Grade: B

It doesn't take much to imagine the utter glee with which Vikings General Manager Rick Spielman and head coach Mike Zimmer turned in the card with Christian Darrisaw's name on it with the 23rd pick.

Click here for TD Wire's full grades.

Pro Football Focus

Grade: B+

Smith-Marsette could end up being one of the better deep threats in this class. Iowa's offense didn't do him any favors, but he has the speed to eat up a cushion in off coverage and separate down the football field.

Click here for PFF's full grades.

Nate Davis, USA TODAY

Grade: C

And though pass rush seems to be one of this club's weak spots, none of Spielman's first four picks were earmarked for it. Hmm.

Click here for Davis' full grades.

Mel Kiper, Jr., ESPN

Grade: B+

I'm a fan of the Darrisaw pick and moving back to do it, and the Vikings having 11 picks means they get more chances to find gems.

Click here for Kiper's full grades.

Connor Orr, Sports Illustrated

Grade: B+

The Vikings nailed their first-round pick, accumulating additional assets and still landing a top three offensive tackle in the first round who can start [immediately]. But their heaviest lifting (and most notable) was done in the middle rounds with a pair of quarterbacks taken back to back. [Note: Orr was referring to Mond and Surratt, who converted to LB after playing his first two college seasons at QB for the Tar Heels.]

Click here for Orr's full grades.

The Score staff

Grade: B+

Minnesota followed up drafting a whopping 15 players in 2020 by adding another 11 this year. We were impressed with the Vikings week, especially GM Rick Spielman's first-round craftiness.

Click here for The Score's full grades.

View college action photos of every Vikings pick from the 2021 NFL Draft.

Matt Lombardo, FanSided

Grade: A-

The Minnesota Vikings are among the bigger winners in this year's NFL Draft, and did a masterful job of balancing choosing players to contribute immediately as well as projects for the future.

Click here for Lombardo's full grades.

Luke Easterling, The Draft Wire

Grade: A

Day 3 was full of high-upside picks like Janarius Robinson, Ihmir Smith-Marsette and Jaylen Twyman.

Click here for Easterling's full grades.

Thor Nystrom, NBC Sports Edge

Grade: C+

Using a R3 pick on Kellen Mond was odd for a roster with so many needs. Mond projects as a solid backup, but his arm talent doesn't extend to the deep sector.

Click here for Nystrom's full grades.

Mark Maske, Washington Post

Grade: B

The Vikings put Kirk Cousins on notice by taking Kellen Mond early in the third round and then talking about him being on par with the draft's top QBs. Cousins clearly remains the starter, but the Vikings now have an alternative for the not-so-distant future.

Click here for Maske's full grades.

Trevor Sikkema, The Draft Network

View behind-the-scenes images of first round draft pick Virginia Tech T Christian Darrisaw as he met the Vikings organization for the first time at TCO Performance Center.

Grade: A

The Vikings had a ton of picks to make in this draft and when it was all said and done got some great players onto their roster. You don't normally see this much value come from a team that has so many draft darts to throw at the board, but I really liked what the Vikings came away with.

Click here for Sikkema's full grades.

Vinnie Iyer, Sporting News

Grade: A

Count on GM Rick Spielman to come through in both rebuilding and reloading mode with a boatload of picks.

Click here for Iyer's full grades.