The Minnesota Vikings made away with one of the biggest steals in the first round of the 2021 NFL Draft on Thursday night by selecting Virginia Tech offensive tackle Christian Darrisaw later than expected.
Darrisaw, the consensus 14th best player in the draft and third-best offensive tackle, was there for the taking at the Vikings’ original pick at No. 14. Minnesota traded the pick and a fourth-rounder to the New York Jets in exchange for two third-round picks and the No. 23 overall pick.
Darrisaw’s value dropped when mock drafters learned of a core muscle injury. Minutes after the Vikings pick, NFL insider Ian Rapoport put any concerns of Darrisaw’s health to rest.
— Ian Rapoport (@RapSheet) April 30, 2021
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Spielman Attempts to Move Up for Darrisaw
Vikings general manager Rick Spielman admitted that he was a little tense after trading back in the first round.
“To be honest with you, we were a little tight in the draft,” Spielman said, referring to Minnesota’s draft room waiting to see if Darrisaw would fall to them at No. 23. “We did try to go back up, and we wanted to make sure we got Christian. we were unable to do that, but fortunately, we did not have to worry.”
With the challenging nature of scouting and researching players in the pandemic, the first time Spielman had spoken with Darrisaw came just moments before Roger Goodell announced the pick. Darrisaw’s excitement hadn’t simmered an ounce.
Christian Darrisaw is headed to the #Vikings
— Travon Miles (@Tray47ABC) April 30, 2021
Spielman added that he had received two more medical reports on Darrisaw hours before the draft, which likely influenced their confidence that Darrisaw will be healthy for the 2021 season before Rapoport’s update.
Vikings Poised for Big Moves in Day 2
Minnesota acquiring two additional third-round picks, especially the 66th overall pick that is the second of the third round, puts the Vikings in a prime position to move up into the second round.
“We have more than enough ammunition to move up in the second round,” Spielman said. “Getting that offensive tackle in the first round gives us a lot of flexibility to go a lot of different directions tomorrow at numerous positions.”
The Vikings have seven picks on Day 2, which Spielman is confident they’ll deal to move around the board.
Here’s the list of Minnesota’s remaining picks:
Third-Round Pick, (from Jets) 66th overall
Third-Round Pick, 78th overall
Third-Round Pick, (from Jets) 86th overall
Third-Round Pick (from Ravens), 90th overall
Fourth-Round Pick, 119th overall
Fourth-Round Pick (from Bears), 125th overall
Fourth-Round Pick (from Bills), 134th overall
Fifth-Round Pick, 157th overall
Fifth-Round Pick (from Steelers), 168th overall
Sixth-Round Pick, 199th overall