EAGAN, Minn. — It's well-known that Vikings General Manager Rick Spielman prefers to have at least 10 picks in the NFL Draft each spring.
And with the 2021 installment just two weeks away, Minnesota currently has exactly that many selections.
It remains to be seen if the Vikings will end the draft with that many picks, as Spielman is known to wheel and deal to move up and down the board during drafts.
But what kind of players could the Vikings get in their current draft slots?
Here's a recent history of the 10 spots the Vikings are slated to pick from later this month:
Round 1, No. 14 overall
2020 — Javon Kinlaw, DT, 49ers
2019 — Chris Lindstrom, G, Falcons
2018 — Marcus Davenport, DE, Saints
2017 — Derek Barnett, DE, Eagles
2016 — Karl Joseph, S, Raiders
Others of Note: DE/WR Bud Grant (Eagles 1950), LB Dave Robinson (Packers 1963), LB Mike Curtis (Colts 1965), G Doug Wilkerson (Oilers 1970), LB Randy Gradishar (Broncos 1974), WR John Jefferson (Chargers 1978), QB Jim Kelly (Bills 1983), G Ruben Brown (Bills 1995), RB Eddie George (Oilers 1996), TE Bubba Franks (Packers 2000), TE Jeremy Shockey (Giants 2002), LB Thomas Davis (Panthers 2005), CB Darrelle Revis (Jets 2007), DB Malcom Jenkins (Saints 2009), S Earl Thomas (Seahawks 2010), DE Robert Quinn (Rams 2011), CB Kyle Fuller (Bears 2014), DeVante Parker (Dolphins 2015).
Grant played two seasons, eventually shifting to the sidelines for a career that earned him a spot in Canton and atop the Vikings leaderboard.
Robinson, Kelly and George highlight this list as Hall of Fame players. The Vikings have had this pick twice before (DE Gerald Robinson in 1986 and RB D.J. Dozier in 1987), but history has shown that the Vikings should be able to grab an impact player at pick No. 14. In recent seasons, teams have focused on the trenches, especially along the defensive line. With edge rusher a need for Minnesota, perhaps that trend will continue in 2021.
Round 3, No. 78 overall
2020 — Matt Hennessy, C, Falcons
2019 — Michael Dieter, G, Dolphins
2018 — Malik Jefferson, LB, Bengals
2017 — Tim Williams, LB, Ravens
2016 — Joe Thuney, G, Patriots
Others of Note: T/G Leon Gray (Dolphins 1973), S David Fulcher (Bengals 1986), P Chris Gardocki (Bears 1991), DL Stalin Colinet (Vikings 1997), WR Marty Booker (Bears 1999), WR Laveranues Coles (Jets 2000), WR Bernard Berrian (Bears 2004)
Thuney is the headliner here as he is now considered one of the league's top interior lineman, as evident by his massive free agent deal this offseason with the Chiefs. The others on this list, including the receivers from two decades ago, show that teams can add solid players in the third round.
Round 3, No. 90 overall
2020 — Jonathan Greenard, DE, Texans
2019 — Connor McGovern, G, Cowboys
2018 — Deadrin Senat, DT, Falcons
2017 — Shaquill Griffin, CB, Seahawks
2016 — C.J. Prosise, RB, Seahawks
Others of Note: T Pat Donovan (Cowboys 1975), WR Yancey Thigpen (Chargers 1991), WR Antonio Freeman (Packers 1995), Falcons QB Matt Schaub (Falcons 2004)
Griffin just signed a large contract with the Jaguars as a prized free agent. Vikings fans know Freeman well. Schaub retired in January after a 17-year career.
Round 4, No. 119 overall
2020 — Mykal Walker, LB, Falcons
2019 — Sheldrick Redwine, S, Browns
2018 — Kyzir White, S, Chargers
2017 — Tarik Cohen, RB, Bears
2016 — Tyler Ervin, RB, Texans
Others of Note: QB/K George Blanda (Bears 1949), CB Bobby Boyd (Colts 1960), DE Dexter Manley (Washington Football Team 1981), LB Keith Newman (Bills 1999), RB Mewelde Moore (Vikings 2004), WR Brandon Marshall (Broncos 2006)
This group features some solid skill players, as Cohen has proven to be a dynamic threat when healthy with the Bears on offense and special teams. Moore was also a playmaker in multiple phases for Minnesota, while Marshall recorded eight different 1,000-yard seasons, including a pair of 1,500-yard campaigns in his 13 seasons in the league. Blanda's Hall of Fame career didn't wrap until 1975.
Round 4, No. 125 overall
2020 — James Morgan, QB, Jets
2019 — Renell Wren, DT, Bengals
2018 — Avonte Maddox, CB, Eagles
2017 — Samson Ebukam, LB, Rams
2016 — Antonio Morrison, LB, Colts
Others of Note: C Mike Webster (Steelers 1974), CB Cris Dishman (Oilers 1988),LB Ed McDaniel (Vikings 1992), CB Ike Taylor (Steelers 2003), T Jermon Bushrod (Saints 2007)
Webster is a Hall of Famer and considered one of the game's greatest centers. McDaniel started 109 games for the Vikings, and Taylor opened 140 regular-season contests.
Round 4, No. 134 overall
2020 — Jaylinn Hawkins, S, Falcons
2019 — Greg Gaines, DT, Rams
2018 — Chase Edmonds, RB, Cardinals
2017 — Jamaal Williams, RB, Packers
2016 — Kenneth Dixon, RB, Ravens
Others of Note: DT Kyle Williams (Bills 2006)
A trio of notable running backs were all taken at No. 134 in three straight drafts. The Vikings have had to deal with Jamaal Williams in Green Bay in recent seasons, but will still see him plenty as he joined the Lions as a free agent this offseason. Kyle Williams earned six Pro Bowl selections.
Round 4, No. 143 overall
2020 — Ben Bredeson, G, Ravens
2019 — Ryan Connelly, LB, Giants
2018 — Ja'Whaun Bentley, LB, Patriots
2017 — Marlon Mack, RB, Colts
2016 — DeAndre Washington, RB, Raiders
Others of Note: LB John Campbell (Vikings 1963), LB Scott Fujita (Chiefs 2002), CB Orlando Scandrick (Cowboys 2008), CB Josh Norman (Panthers 2012), TE MyCole Pruitt (Vikings 2015)
Even though he was drafted by the Giants, Connelly is now with the Vikings and back in his home state as an Eden Prairie native. Scandrick and Norman were solid corners for a stretch, with the latter ranked among the game's best a few seasons ago.
Round 5, No. 157 overall
2020 — Daniel Thomas, S, Jaguars
2019 — Blake Cashman, LB, Jets
2018 — Tyler Conklin, TE, Vikings
2017 — Will Holden, T, Cardinals
2016 — LeShaun Sims, CB, Titans
Others of Note: G Keith Bishop (Broncos 1980), S Gerald Sensabaugh (Cowboys 2005), TE C.J. Uzomah (Bengals 2015)
There are a handful of Minnesota connections here, most notably with Conklin. A fifth-round pick in 2018, he is now expected to be the Vikings No. 2 tight end after a solid end to the 2020 season. Cashman is a Minnesota native and played for the Gophers before heading to the Big Apple.
Round 5, No. 168 overall
2020 — John Hightower, WR, Eagles
2019 — D'Andre Walker, LB, Titans
2018 — Jamarco Jones, T, Seahawks
2017 — Marquel Lee, LB, Raiders
2016 — Spencer Drango, G, Browns
Others of Note: G Max Montoya (Bengals 1979), QB Marc Bulger (Saints 2000),DB Corey Graham (Bears 2007), T Rick Wagner (Ravens 2013)
While none of these current players are stars, Montoya was a four-time Pro Bowler, and Bulger garnered two selections. He also started his career red hot by winning 18 of his first 22 starts. Wagner is well-known by the Vikings as he was with the Lions from 2017-19 before joining the Packers.
Round 6, No. 199 overall
2020 — Jordan Fuller, S, Rams
2019 — Gerri Green, DE, Colts
2018 — Luke Falk, QB, Titans
2017 — Chase Roullier, C, Washington
2016 — Cody Core, WR, Bengals
Others of Note: DB/PR Eddie Brown (Browns 1974), QB Tom Brady (Patriots 2000), T/G Charlie Johnson (Colts 2006), QB/WR Joe Webb (Vikings 2010), RB Theo Riddick (Lions 2013)
Perhaps you've heard of that Brady guy? Easily the top draft steal in NFL history, Brady was a sixth-rounder who has now won seven Super Bowls, won a trio of MVPs and been selected to 14 Pro Bowls … not to mention the first-ballot Hall of Fame status that will come after he decides to hang up his cleats. Roullier is a Minnesota native from Burnsville, while Webb is still in the league after beginning his career with the Vikings, a stint that included three total starts at quarterback, including one playoff game. Johnson played for five seasons in Indianapolis before heading to Minnesota for four more.