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2021 NFL Draft Prospects for Vikings: Tackles

View photos of potential tackles the Vikings can select in the 2021 NFL Draft. Read the full story HERE.

In the leadup to the 2021 NFL Draft, is taking a position-by-position look at prospects who have garnered a range of attention from national outlets. The series will include rankings by those national outlets, stats and background information for multiple prospects. We'll also include comments that experts shared during interviews.

Vikings status at tackle

The Vikings received strong play at both tackle spots in 2020, as Riley Reiff manned the left side and Brian O'Neill continued his ascension on the right side. Yet as the 2021 NFL Draft nears, the only player on Minnesota's roster that will be a surefire starter at tackle is O'Neill, who is entering the final year of his rookie deal.

View the best photos of Vikings T Brian O'Neill from the 2020 season.

Reiff was released in a cap-saving move in March, but the Vikings did bring back Rashod Hill, who has made 17 starts in from the swing tackle role the past five seasons. Olisaemeka Udoh is also on the roster, as is Ezra Cleveland, who has the ability to move to left tackle (his college position) after he started nine games at right guard as a rookie.

Vikings Head Coach Mike Zimmer was recently asked about the Vikings current options at the tackle spots.

"At this point we've got Rashod Hill back, we've got Udoh back, we've got O'Neill back, we've got Cleveland," Zimmer said. "So, we'll be able to take care of those situations. All of those guys are good players, and we'll continue to figure it out and go from there."

Zimmer later noted that Cleveland is currently at right guard on Minnesota's whiteboard depth chart, but added he has position flexibility, too.

"All those things can change depending on what happens the rest of the way in free agency and what else happens in the draft," Zimmer said. "We don't know what's going to happen in those places and obviously there's other positions that we can draft. I'm sure at some point we're going to try and address all those things."

Ask the analyst

Brian Baldinger is an analyst for NFL Network and one of the most well-respected voices on offensive line play across the league. He played 143 career games as an offensive lineman from 1982-1993 with the Cowboys, Colts and Eagles. A popular presence on social media for his “Baldy’s Breakdowns,” Baldinger's video cutups can be found at @BaldyNFL on Twitter.

Baldinger recently chatted with to give his assessment on where Minnesota stands right now at the tackle spot and explain his view for how the group of 2021 draft prospects measures up to previous years.

"Obviously with the release of Riley Reiff, tackle looks like a glaring hole to me," Baldinger said. "Rashod Hill finished the season there in that last game against Detroit. Ezra Cleveland can play tackle, but I thought he played really good at right guard and probably wouldn't want to change that. If I were the Vikings, I wouldn't want to change two positions to fix one.

"This is a deep draft at tackle, but I don't think it's a great draft at tackle. It's a deep draft, a lot of guys that can play. But I don't see anybody like [2020 first-rounders] Tristan Wirfs or Mekhi Becton or Jedrick Wills in this draft," Baldinger added. "I don't see those players, but I think it's a big need [for Minnesota]. I think guard, they're fine whether it's Dakota Dozier and Cleveland. I think they're fine inside and at center. To me, it looks like there's a big hole at left tackle."

Oregon's Penei Sewell is widely viewed as the draft's top tackle prospect and a likely top-10 pick, although Northwestern's Rashawn Slater is a favorite of some. Baldinger tabbed the 20-year-old Sewell as the player with the highest ceiling of any tackle in the draft.

"But I think he's far from a finished product," Baldinger said. "I think he has everything it takes — size, athletic ability — but I see him struggle against Auburn and Wisconsin. And he didn't play this year [because he opted out due to COVID-19].

"But the highest ceiling is Penei because of his athletic ability," Baldinger added. "But I also think there are … not necessarily flaws … but he has balance issues, strength issues. I'm not ready to say he's the next Jonathan Ogden [a Hall of Famer] like some people are."

Expert rankings's Daniel Jeremiah currently has seven tackles in his overall Top 50: 9. Slater, 12. Sewell, 27. Jalen Mayfield, 34. Teven Jenkins, 36. Christian Darrisaw, 41. Liam Eichenberg and 47. Dillon Radunz.

ESPN's Mel Kiper, Jr., has just three tackles in his overall Top 25: 8. Sewell, 9. Slater and 23. Darrisaw.

Rankings for each player within the tight end position group by Jeremiah, his NFL Media counterpart Bucky Brooks, Kiper, analytics site Pro Football Focus and The Athletic's Dane Brugler are listed below.


Note: Heights and weights are from each player's profile on (linked for each player's name).


School: Oregon | Year: Jr. | Ht: 6-foot-5 | Wt: 331 pounds

Table inside Article
Daniel Jeremiah Bucky Brooks Mel Kiper, Jr. Pro Football Focus Dane Brugler
T2 T1 T1 T1 T1

2020 stats: opted out of season due to the COVID-19 pandemic; 2019 stats: 14 games; all starts at left tackle; unanimous First-Team All-American; Outland Trophy Winner as nation's top college lineman; Associated Press Pac-12 Co-Offensive Player of the Year

Remember me?: Sewell last played in 2019 when he put together one of the most dominant seasons for an offensive lineman in recent college football history. He finished as Pro Football Focus' top-graded offensive lineman in the nation at 95.5, which was also the highest grade for an offensive lineman in the history of the analytics website. Sewell, who turns 21 in October, played that season at 18 and 19 years old.


School: Northwestern | Year: Sr. | Ht: 6-foot-4 | Wt: 304 pounds

Table inside Article
Daniel Jeremiah Bucky Brooks Mel Kiper, Jr. Pro Football Focus Dane Brugler
T1 T2 T2 T2 T2

2020 stats: opted out of season due to the COVID-19 pandemic; 2019 stats: 11 games; all starts at left tackle; Honorable Mention All-Big Ten Team

Position flexibility: Slater played in 38 games for Northwestern, starting the final 37 of them. His first 26 starts came at right tackle, including 13 as a true freshman in 2017, before he switched sides and started his final 11 college games at left tackle.

Baldy's Breakdown: "Rashawn Slater is going to be a good player wherever he plays. He might be better at guard than at tackle, and he might be a Pro-Bowl guard the way Zack Martin was. I could see Slater as a right tackle or left tackle. You watch him against Chase Young two years ago, and he was fine there. He probably has better guard ability. But he's really smart, takes really good angles and gets to the second level really well. He doesn't have any false steps. He's just a really smart, good player. I think he could be a better guard than tackle. But I'm pretty sure he can play tackle."


School: Virginia Tech | Year: Jr. | Ht: 6-foot-5 | Wt: 322 pounds

Table inside Article
Daniel Jeremiah Bucky Brooks Mel Kiper, Jr. Pro Football Focus Dane Brugler
T5 T3 T3 T3 T3

2020 stats: 10 games; all starts at left tackle; Second-Team Associated Press All-American, First-Team All-ACC selection

One and only: Darrisaw is likely to be a first-round pick and earned that status with hard work. Virginia Tech was the only major Division I school to offer Darrisaw a scholarship out of Riverdale Baptist High School in Maryland. Darrisaw is looking to be the first Hokies offensive lineman selected in the first round since tackle Duane Brown was the 26th overall pick in 2008 by the Texans.

Baldy's Breakdown: "I also like Darrisaw … I thought he got better every year in his three years. He's got left tackle size, kind of reminds me of Dion Dawkins in Buffalo, just a little bigger. I think he looks like a left tackle and moves like a left tackle. Sometimes they want these guys to be like these ballerinas out there – I just think if you latch onto your guy and can keep him away from the quarterback, and when he throws the ball, your man is 2 yards away from the quarterback, you're doing your job. He just does a good job of staying between him and the quarterback. He's a good run blocker. I think there's a good upside on Christian Darrisaw. I mean, he's not going to get out of the first round. It's just a question of where people are going to play him. Are they going to play him at right tackle? Are they going to play him at left tackle or play him at guard? I mean, I'd draft him, and I'd see if he could play left tackle. If he can't, find another place for him. But I think he's going to play."


School: Oklahoma State | Year: Redshirt Sr. | Ht: 6-foot-6 | Wt: 317 pounds

Table inside Article
Daniel Jeremiah Bucky Brooks Mel Kiper, Jr. Pro Football Focus Dane Brugler
T4 T5 T4 T4 T4

2020 stats: 7 games; one start at left tackle and six at right tackle; First-Team All-Big 12 selection

Mixing and matching: Jenkins opted out for the final month of the 2020 season so he could begin his draft prep, but showed his versatility in three-plus seasons with the Cowboys. He started 35 total games at Oklahoma State, 26 of which came at right tackle. But he also started seven total times at left tackle due to injury and made a pair of starts at right guard as a redshirt freshman in 2017.

Baldy's Breakdown: "Teven Jenkins at Oklahoma State, he was a right tackle there. He's played left tackle. I see the talent. I just don't see great physical play. Their offense is … a Big 12 offense – the ball comes out fast, shotgun and spread [formations]. I will say this: Mike Gundy does play with tight ends and H backs and F backs, so you do get some assemblance of a little bit of an NFL-type offense at times. I just think he needs to get more physical. I just think there's something there, whether that's getting stronger or whatever. People are going to draft him in the first round, probably, but I just there's a physical component to him that he has to get better at."


School: Michigan | Year: Redshirt So. | Ht: 6-foot-5 | Wt: 326 pounds

Table inside Article
Daniel Jeremiah Bucky Brooks Mel Kiper, Jr. Pro Football Focus Dane Brugler
T3 T4 T6 G5 G3

2020 stats: 2 games; both starts at right tackle; missed final four games with an ankle injury

Limited experience: Mayfield started just 15 games for the Wolverines, all of them at right tackle. He started all 13 games at that spot in 2019 when he was an honorable mention by coaches on the 2019 All-Big Ten Team.


School: North Dakota State | Year: Redshirt Sr. | Ht: 6-foot-4 | Wt: 301 pounds

Table inside Article
Daniel Jeremiah Bucky Brooks Mel Kiper, Jr. Pro Football Focus Dane Brugler
T7 Unranked T7 T5 T9

2020 stats: North Dakota State played one game in the fall; started at left tackle; participated in 2021 Reese's Senior Bowl; 2019 stats: started all 16 games at left tackle

From the North: Radunz hails from Becker, Minnesota, which is about 50 miles northwest of U.S. Bank Stadium. He started at left tackle in his final two high school seasons, helping the Bulldogs win 4A state titles in 2014 and 2015 as the program went a combined 25-1 in that span. A Top-10 finalist for Mr. Football in Minnesota as a senior, he earned an All-State recognition by multiple outlets, including the Vikings. Radunz graduated from NDSU in December with a bachelor's degree in industrial engineering and management.

Baldy's Breakdown: "I think he's probably a second-day tackle right now. I think he's clearly a tackle. Whether he's good enough to play left tackle in this business, I don't know. I mean, right tackles have to block just as good of pass rushers. If you've got to play Danielle Hunter, good luck. If you've got to play Khalil Mack or J.J. Watt or Von Miller, you've got your hands full at right tackle just as much as you do at left tackle anymore. I think he's a talented guy, and he's played a lot of football at that level. But you know, when they played Kansas State and other FCS schools, he held his ground just fine. Obviously he's blocking the blind side for one of the elite players in this whole draft with quarterback [Trey Lance], so you watch him a lot. And at that level, you want him to dominate at that level. To take him in the first round, he looks like a second-day player to me."


School: Notre Dame | Year: Redshirt Sr. | Ht: 6-foot-6 | Wt: 306 pounds

Table inside Article
Daniel Jeremiah Bucky Brooks Mel Kiper, Jr. Pro Football Focus Dane Brugler
T6 Unranked T5 Unranked T5

2020 stats: 12 games; all starts at left tackle; Associated Press Second-Team All-American; First-Team All-ACC; won Jacobs Blocking Trophy as the top lineman in the ACC; Outland Trophy finalist

Plenty of potential: Eichenberg played collegiately at Notre Dame, where he saw action in 43 games, including 38 straight starts at left tackle. But the highly ranked high school prospect generated buzz for years, as his first scholarship offer came from Ohio State when he was still in eighth grade.


School: Texas | Year: Redshirt Jr. | Ht: 6-foot-6 | Wt: 314 pounds

Table inside Article
Daniel Jeremiah Bucky Brooks Mel Kiper, Jr. Pro Football Focus Dane Brugler
Unranked Unranked G2 T7 T6

2020 stats: 8 games; all starts at left tackle; Second-Team selection on CBS Sports' All-American team; First-Team All-Big 12 selection; Honorable Mention Big 12 Offensive Lineman of the Year

On the move: Cosmi was clocked at 4.84 seconds in the 40-yard dash at the Texas Pro Day. That's comparable to a pair of current Vikings linemen, as Brian O'Neill was timed at 4.82, and Ezra Cleveland was at 4.93 in their respective draft years.

Baldy's Breakdown: "I know he tested really well, but he's leaner. He's got a big frame; he kind of swallows people up. He played a lot of games over there at Texas. Two-plus straight years of starting, so that's good. There's not a lot of great pass rushers coming out of the Big 12; I mean, I think [Ronnie] Perkins is a good player at Oklahoma. [Cosmi] lines up well, but I just think that he's a waist-bender instead of a knee-bender, and that gets you in trouble – especially if you're going to play left tackle. … While he tested well, I think he's, you know, to me I'd be a little nervous playing him at left tackle at the NFL level. Guys like that get beat on the edge, man, if you can't bend your knees and shuffle and slide."


School: Cincinnati (after Michigan) | Year: Redshirt Jr. | Ht: 6-foot-5 | Wt: 313 pounds

Table inside Article
Daniel Jeremiah Bucky Brooks Mel Kiper, Jr. Pro Football Focus Dane Brugler
Unranked Unranked T8 Unranked T7

2020 stats: 10 games; all starts at left tackle; First-Team All-American Athletic Conference selection

Position switch: Hudson was a heavily recruited prep star at defensive end and originally landed at Michigan. He redshirted in 2017 and switched to tackle before transferring to Cincinnati after the 2018 season. He sat out nearly all of 2019 (only playing in the bowl game) before becoming a full-time starter in 2020.


School: Stanford | Year: Sr. | Ht: 6-foot-7 | Wt: 313 pounds

Table inside Article
Daniel Jeremiah Bucky Brooks Mel Kiper, Jr. Pro Football Focus Dane Brugler
Unranked Unranked T9 Unranked T10

2020 stats: opted out of season due to the COVID-19 pandemic;2019 stats:1 game; started at left tackle but suffered season-ending knee injury

Plenty of intrigue: Walker is one of the most talented offensive linemen in this draft class (he was the nation's top high school recruit in 2017 out of Houston's Episcopal High School). He was then an Honorable Mention for All-Pac 12 honors as a true freshman in 2017 before nabbing First-Team All-Pac 12 honors at left tackle in 2018. But he hasn't played a full game in two-plus seasons due to injuries and opting out.

Baldy's Breakdown: "He was the first freshman to start at left tackle at Stanford. Going all the way back to 2017. So he's got two years of tape on him, and he's got good size. I don't know if he's red-flagged with the injuries and stuff – I don't know how that's going to look. I'm sure, without playing much over the past two years, that he's going to be OK. But he's got NFL size and played a lot of left tackle there. He was a First-Team Pac-12 player as a sophomore, but he was an elite player in that conference. They don't have a lot of good pass rushers in that conference. … I don't know how teams are going to look at him right now, to be honest with you. I think it's going to be one of those deals where your offensive line coach can work him out, pro days, bring him in, all that kind of stuff. Get the physicals on him. Get his mental frame of mind, where he's at, and then kind of stack him on your board. I can see teams taking him in the third round right now and really trying to develop him. I mean, I think he can be a starting player in this league if he's healthy."


School: East Carolina | Year: Redshirt Sr. | Ht: 6-foot-5 | Wt: 305 pounds

Table inside Article
Daniel Jeremiah Bucky Brooks Mel Kiper, Jr. Pro Football Focus Dane Brugler
Unranked Unranked Unranked Unranked T8

2020 stats: 1 game; started at left tackle but suffered season-ending injury

Grappler to the gridiron: Smith was an all-region heavyweight wrestler in high school before turning his focus to football at East Carolina. Smith has plenty of length to help him along the line, as he was measured with an 85-inch wingspan and 35-inch arms.


School: Clemson | Year: Jr. | Ht: 6-foot-5 | Wt: 317 pounds

Table inside Article
Daniel Jeremiah Bucky Brooks Mel Kiper, Jr. Pro Football Focus Dane Brugler
Unranked Unranked Unranked T10 Unranked

2020 stats: 12 games; all starts at left tackle; Second-Team All-ACC selection by coaches and media; Second-Team All-American by CBS Sports

Big-game experience: Carman played in 40 career games with the Tigers, including starting the final 27 of them at left tackle. He helped Clemson on the big stage, too, playing three total games in the College Football Playoff, including the national title game against LSU in January of 2020.