The Vikings need to bolster their options in the trenches if they want to make the playoffs in 2021. Look for Minnesota to draft a big man in Round 1.
Fans in Minnesota love to blame Kirk Cousins for the team’s struggles on an annual basis, but in 2020 the failures of the team’s defensive line were the real story. Fortunately for the Vikings, they have a chance to land an impact defensive lineman with the No. 14 overall pick in April’s NFL Draft.
Then again, Minnesota could also use that pick to give Cousins more time to throw the football. Dakota Dozier is headed for free agency and Riley Reiff could be headed out the door as well. That leaves the Vikings with two starting spots to fill on the left side of their offensive line.
In reality, this team can justify making a pick to bolster either line in Round 1. Mike Zimmer wants to get better in the trenches and it will be a major shock if the No. 14 pick isn’t used to do just that. Vikings fans should keep a close eye on the following five prospects.
5. Micah Parsons
Parsons isn’t a defensive lineman, but he can still bolster Minnesota’s front seven in a big way. He’s the top linebacker in this class, but questions over his position’s value give him a real chance to fall all the way down to the middle of Round 1.
It’s easy to envision a scenario where Zimmer falls in love with him. He’s the rare college linebacker that projects to be an above-average pass rusher as a rookie. Throw in his ability to be a dominant run defender and it’s easy to see how he can help Minnesota.