Vikings first-round predictions for the 2021 NFL draft

Jack White
·2 min read

Despite making moves in free agency, the Vikings have some clear and obvious needs remaining on their roster.

With only one pick in the first two rounds of the draft, Minnesota needs to be accurate with the first few selections, or else the team could be looking at another disappointing season.

So the first round is crucial. As it stands, the Vikings have the No. 14 pick in the 2021 NFL draft. Minnesota could trade back from there, or the team could be aggressive and move up to land a top prospect. There are certainly a lot of options.

Here are a few predictions for what the Vikings could do tonight:

Michigan DE Kwity Paye

Former Michigan Wolverines defensive lineman Kwity Paye. Photo: Mike Carter/USA TODAY Sports

The Vikings could very well have their share of any of the top defensive ends in the draft. If that's the case, I think Paye would be a good choice. He's explosive and his physicality could make him a well-balanced player at the NFL level. Minnesota could use a good edge rusher to pair opposite Danielle Hunter. It's not a given that Hunter will produce on the level he did in 2019 and 2018, especially if D.J. Wonnum and Stephen Weatherly don't improve a lot from last year. Paye would be a big help. -- Jack White, Vikings Wire

Northwestern OL Rashawn Slater or trade back

Former Northwestern Wildcats lineman Rashawn Slater. Photo: Thomas J. Russo/USA TODAY Sports

I really think the Vikings will trade back at try to get maybe a second-round pick. If not, though, I think offensive line is the pick. If Northwestern offensive tackle Rashawn Slater falls, oh baby, that'd be a dream. -- Kyle Ratke, Vikings Wire.

USC OL Alijah Vera-Tucker

Former USA; Southern California Trojans offensive lineman Alijah Vera-Tucker. Photo; Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

As bad as I want to say Justin Fields falls in the laps of the Vikings, I just don’t think that’s realistic. The two biggest priorities in my mind are finding a tackle and a pass rusher. I’m not convinced on either one being a bigger priority than the other in terms of the Vikings front office, so it really depends on how the board falls. For the sake of this prediction, I am going with OL Alijah Vera-Tucker out of USC. His athleticism fits the outside zone scheme and he can play tackle or guard. I think the Vikings could potentially try and trade back a few spots in an attempt to regain a second-round pick, and there’s a chance that Vera-Tucker is still on the board if this happens. -- Jack Day, Vikings Wire.

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