Saturday, April 3, 2021

Minnesota Vikings 2021 NFL Mock Draft Roundup 8.0

Throughout the year and leading up to the 2021 NFL draft, we will update our Minnesota Vikings Mock Draft Roundup showing picks for the Minnesota Vikings from several prominent sites and draft analysts.

The following are picks in recent mock drafts for the Vikings:

EDSFootball - Hanson (4/1)

14. Jaelan Phillips, EDGE, Miami (FL)

Trading for Yannick Ngakoue before the 2020 season, the Vikings should have had a dynamic 1-2 pass-rush duo with Danielle Hunter and Ngakoue. Not only did Hunter miss all of 2020, but the Vikings traded away Ngakoue only six games into his Minnesota tenure. Even so, the short-term Viking still led the team with five sacks. Meanwhile, Hunter is unhappy with his current contract.

It was an unorthodox journey for Phillips from the nation's top high school recruit to potential first-round pick. After briefly retiring from football and transferring to Miami from UCLA, everything came together for the gifted edge rusher as he recorded eight sacks and 15.5 tackles for loss over 10 games in his lone season in Coral Gables.

ESPN - McShay (4/1)

14. Rashawn Slater, OT, Northwestern

Slater is super versatile and could play any of the five positions along the Vikings' line. That's a good thing, because it has a lot of holes -- Minnesota gave up 39 sacks in 2020, lost Riley Reiff and only added Mason Cole to the mix in the offseason. After rebooting the secondary, the Vikings now have to be focusing on protecting Kirk Cousins and opening lanes for Dalvin Cook.

Baltimore Sun - Doon (3/31)

14. Kwity Paye, EDGE, Michigan

While this class of edge rushers lacks a bona fide star, the Vikings shouldn't hesitate to take their favorite of the bunch. Paye is an explosive athlete who could help a struggling pass rush, especially if Minnesota looks to trade disgruntled star Danielle Hunter.

EDSFootball - Donahue (3/29)

14. Gregory Rousseau, EDGE, Miami (FL)

Nobody in the league had a lower pressure rate on opposing QBs last year than the Vikings. Edge rushers, at this point in the draft process, have not distinguished themselves yet and may push each other down the draft boards as a result. Rousseau sat out last season but in 2019, he had 15.5 sacks while lining up all over the defensive line showing his ability to get pressure not just from the edge which Minnesota desperately needs.

San Diego Union Tribune (3/29)

14. Christian Darrisaw, OT, Virginia Tech

Coach Mike Zimmer didn't hold back when he called his defense the "worst one I've ever had," but the offensive line is priority here considering the Vikings don't have a pick in the second round. Darrisaw would be the first Hokie offensive lineman to be drafted in the first round since 2008 (Duane Brown).

L.A. Times - Farmer (3/29)

14. Kwity Paye, EDGE, Michigan

Everson Griffen and Linval Joseph are gone. The Vikings need to beef up their defensive front and give Danielle Hunter some help.

New York Post - Serby (3/27)

14. DeVonta Smith, WR, Alabama

A value pick for Kirk Cousins as the third receiver with 31-year-old Adam Thielen and youngster Justin Jefferson.

The Ringer - Kelly (3/26)

14. Azeez Ojulari, EDGE, Georgia

The Vikings have been relatively quiet in free agency, with their two most notable signings being cornerback Patrick Peterson and defensive tackle Dalvin Tomlinson. They won't be enough to turn the Minnesota defense around. This team also has to rebuild its pass rush, and Ojulari would be a good start: Though he's undersized, he brings explosiveness and bend to the edge and could thrive opposite Danielle Hunter.

Newsday - Klopsis (3/26)

14. Kwity Paye, EDGE, Michigan

Mike Zimmer called his defense "the worst one I've ever had," so look for the Vikings to add massive reinforcements there, starting with a pass rush that only mustered 23 sacks. Kwity Paye has the physical tools, explosiveness and motor to get to the quarterback, and he's an ideal fit for the 4-3 scheme that Zimmer loves to use.

Previous update: Minnesota Vikings Mock Draft Roundup 7.0

MORE TEAMS: All NFL Team Mock Draft Roundups

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