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NFL Draft

2021 NFL Draft Targets Vikings Fans Should Watch On 10/3

  • The Draft Network
  • October 1, 2020
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In what has been one of the most disappointing starts in franchise history, the Minnesota Vikings sit with an 0-3 record to open the 2020 campaign—a disastrous start where youth and inconsistencies have plagued a talented roster. There are obvious holes at interior offensive line and defensive line, but there could also be chatter about drafting a quarterback if the team ends up selecting in the top 10. During the offseason, Kirk Cousins signed a two-year, $66 million extension that tied him to the team through the 2022 season. With that decision in question amid the team's struggles, there are a lot of directions that they could go in the future. With positional needs across many spots, Week 5 of the college football season provides many prospects that fans should keep an eye on.

Trey Lance, QB, North Dakota State

Central Arkansas at North Dakota State, 2:30 p.m. ET

It seems as if the team has bumped its head on their ceiling of potential with Cousins under center, so the franchise may be in the market for a young signal-caller to replace him. Given that Cousins' contract is a bit tricky, the realistic starting point with a new quarterback is likely in 2022. With that in mind, and being off to an 0-3 start, the team may be in the draft range for Lance’s services. In one of the most highly anticipated debuts of an NFL prospect in recent memory, his redshirt sophomore season will only consist of a single contest. Many will say a lot is riding on a showcase game with Lance on Saturday, but lots are excited to see him back in action following a flawless redshirt freshman season that consisted of a 16-0 record that saw him accumulate 42 total touchdowns to zero interceptions.

Trevon Moehrig, S, TCU

TCU at Texas, 12:00 p.m. ET

With one of the better safety duos in the league in Harrison Smith and Anthony Harris, the Vikings seem to be set at the position. With Harris playing on the franchise tag and with a team that’s penny-pinching in order to get under the salary cap, someone will have to be a casualty. With Harris in line to potentially be one of those options, the franchise will need to find a younger replacement in 2021. In head coach Mike Zimmer’s defense, safeties are required to have versatility as both a roof player, and someone also able to survive in man-to-man coverage. Moehrig displays the versatility needed in order to be a fit in the team's scheme.

Trey Smith, IOL, Tennessee

Missouri at Tennessee, 12:00 p.m. ET

The Vikings' situation at guard is arguably the worst in the league. With Pat Elflein placed on injured reserve, the team has used Dakota Dozier and Dru Samia in both spots. Neither have proven capable of being long-term solutions and the pickings are slim following those options. A predominantly zone-oriented blocking scheme, the team is at the point now of where they simply need someone who can establish a standard of nastiness at the position. While Smith’s potential will thrive the most in a power-blocking scheme, he has the athleticism necessary in order to play within a zone scheme. His want to, finishing ability, and upside help establish an identity among an interior offensive front that is lacking mightily at the moment.

Paris Ford, S, Pitt

N.C. State at Pittsburgh, 12:00 p.m. ET

A defense that is off to its worst start under Zimmer, the Vikings will be in the market for a safety. With minimal depth behind Smith and with Harris unlikely to be back after playing this season on the franchise tag, the need at safety will be glaring following the season. One of the more aggressive safeties in the country, Ford is a true striker that’s unafraid to come down hill and deliver the boom. A defensive back that infuses energy into everyone with his endless trash talk and big-time plays, he has the traits that Minnesota covets. Even though he’s on the thinner side (6-foot, 190 pounds), he has the frame and confidence of someone much bigger. His reliability in coverage is above average and he’s a loose mover in zone. Still needing some development in man coverage to limit his hand usage and contact strength when matching routes, there’s lots of promise to his game that should intrigue the team.

Jordan Davis, IDL, Georgia

Auburn at Georgia, 7 p.m. ET

Long gone are the days of Linval Joseph, as he became a cap casualty of the team. When at his peak, he freed up many players on the second and third levels of the defense. With newly signed free agent Michael Pierce opting out of the season, it has left the team rail-thin along the interior defensive line. Armon Watts, Shamar Stephen, and Jaleel Johnson have not shown what it takes to even be a respectable bunch and the team is lacking an anchor that can clog up the middle at nose tackle and defensive tackle. At 6-foot-6 and 330 pounds, Davis is the large force in the center that the team currently lacks. While being a force against the run, he also has some promising reps against the pass. 

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