Player comparisons are a complicated ordeal.
Everyone wants to compare a draft prospect to a Hall of Famer, or at least a player who has had a stellar career. However, the odds that a given draft prospect will go on to make the Hall of Fame isn’t incredibly likely.
So player comparisons are tough. No one wants to draft someone drawing comparisons to a bust, but it’s a given that some of these players will not have long careers in the league.
With that under consideration, our friends at Touchdown Wire set out to do something very difficult: Give a player comparison for many of the top draft prospects in the 2021 NFL draft and explain why.
Here are the prospects that can be compared to current and former Vikings players, according to Doug Farrar and Mark Schofield of Touchdown Wire:
Alabama WR Jaylen Waddle — Vikings WR Justin Jefferson
Similar to Jefferson, Waddle was not always the definitive No. 1 on his college team. Alabama relied heavily on wide receiver DeVonta Smith, a player who went on to win the Heisman this past season. And Jefferson played alongside Ja'Marr Chase. Chase is expected to be a top pick in this year's NFL draft. Here's what Schofield wrote:
"I look at Waddle’s ability to operate on the over/crossing route and think of Jefferson. That was a route that the former LSU receiver ran to perfection and Waddle, whether against zone or man, did the same last season with his acceleration and pace."
Alabama QB Mac Jones — Vikings QB Kirk Cousins
Jones and Cousins are both pocket-passers, who are sometimes tabbed as needing the proper system or scheme to be able to thrive. Unlike Cousins, Jones is expected to be a first-round pick. Cousins was seen as a serviceable backup coming out of Michigan State. He's gone on to prove people wrong and become a competent, starting quarterback in the NFL, but critics think he's not in the echelon of elite quarterbacks to make his team a certain Super Bowl contender.
Florida State CB Asante Samuel Jr. — Former Vikings CB Antoine Winfield Sr.
Antoine Winfield Sr. garnered a reputation around the league for being a physical, run-stopping cornerback. Here's what Farrar wrote:
"Like the elder Winfield, Samuel Jr. will absolutely not back down from anybody as an outside cornerback despite his size (5-foot-10, 185 pounds)."