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NFL Draft

Should Vikings Be Worried About Their 2021 Draft Class?

  • The Draft Network
  • October 6, 2021
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The Minnesota Vikings are having a tough start to the 2021 season. Despite Kirk Cousins playing at a high level right now, Minnesota has lost three of its first four games and is losing ground to the Green Bay Packers in the race for the NFC North crown. Yes, it’s early, but there isn’t much outside of Cousins to get overly excited about in the Twin Cities.

This is especially true with the Vikings’ rookie class. Minnesota ended April with a sizable draft haul—11 players—but none of them have made an impact. At all. Literally, not at all.

First-round pick Christian Darrisaw is exempt—sort of—from this assessment. He’s been dealing with a core injury and hasn’t played any snaps yet. I had a high grade on Darrisaw coming out, so I believe he’ll end up being a solid pick. But as the old football saying goes, a player’s best ability is his availability, and Darrisaw hasn’t been available.

The Vikings had four third-round picks. The first, quarterback Kellen Mond, is an incomplete evaluation at this time. He’s blocked by Cousins in the lineup and that won’t change anytime soon. Investing in a quarterback on Day 2 isn’t a bad strategy, especially if Minnesota isn’t sold on Cousins being on the roster beyond the 2022 season, but it is a third-round pick that isn’t providing any returns for this team. 

The second of their two third-rounders, linebacker Chazz Surratt, hasn’t recorded any snaps on defense yet, although he has provided some help on special teams (28 snaps, per Pro Football Focus). Their third third-round pick, guard Wyatt Davis, is still waiting for his first NFL rep, as is their fourth, edge defender Patrick Jones II.

Let’s review: First-round pick, zero snaps. Four third-round picks, 28 snaps, all on special teams. And I didn’t overlook the Vikings’ second-round pick; they didn’t have one.

Minnesota had three fourth-round picks too: running back Kene Nwangwu, cornerback Camryn Bynum, and defensive end Janarius Robinson. They’ve combined for five snaps, all from Bynum on defense.

The rest of their draft class—wide receiver Ihmir Smith-Marsette (fifth round), tight end Zach Davidson (fifth round), and defensive tackle Jaylen Twyman (sixth round)—is led by Smith-Marsette, who has four snaps on offense and 15 on special teams.

Eleven picks, 52 snaps, with only nine coming on offense or defense.

Draft classes with as many players as Minnesota’s had this year increases the odds that a few of them will hit and become active contributors, if not starters, on the team. And it’s obviously too soon to say after just four games that the Vikings’ 2021 class is a complete failure. But with nearly one-quarter of the 2021 season in the books, it isn’t looking good.

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