The Minnesota Vikings need a replacement at quarterback once Kirk Cousins’ contract expires after the 2022 season.
While the coveted 2021 NFL Draft quarterback class could be the first group to have five QBs drafted in the first round, Minnesota is vying for the next tier of quarterbacks that could go in the second or third rounds of the draft.
NFL Network’s Tom Pelissero reported that a trio of quarterbacks is likely to be drafted early on Day 2 of the NFL Draft: Kellen Mond (Texas A&M), Kyle Trask (Florida) and Davis Mills (Stanford). Pelissero added that a handful of teams have done “extra legwork” on either one or all three prospects — the Vikings being one of those teams.
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Vikings Fac Hurdles to Landing Their Guy
Mond has been the most commonly linked quarterback to the Vikings this offseason. The Texas A&M prospect started four seasons for the Aggies and capped his career by throwing for 2,282 yards, 19 touchdowns and three interceptions as a senior.
Mond is an ideal fit for the Vikings zone-running, play-action scheme as a mobile QB. He ran for 501 yards and eight touchdowns in his junior year before settling in as a pocket passer in his senior season — where he still mustered 294 rushing yards and four TDs.
He also has one of the strongest arms of any QB in the draft this year.
Mond has been considered the best of the second-tier QBs and has the strongest likelihood of landing as a late first-round pick or early in the second round.
The Vikings don’t have any picks in that range and would have to wait behind the Chicago Bears, New Orleans Saints and Tampa Bay Buccaneers to draft a QB on Day 2.
However, Rick Spielman hinted he’d be willing to trade into the second round in a recent press conference.
Vikings Willing to Part Ways With Bounty of Draft Picks
Spielman has a reputation of hoarding draft capital and bouncing up and down the board. His approach is to have as many darts in hand, hoping to increase the chances of hitting on the right players to develop.
“I treasure those (draft picks) and I try to collect as many as I can,” Spielman said after the 2020 draft, per ESPN’s Courtney Cronin. “When you have that much draft capital going into it and you’re able to flip some picks into next year’s picks… to start off right now where we stand to have 12 draft picks (in 2021), who knows where we’re going to end up next year.”
But entering a must-win season where it will be playoffs or bust after a down 7-9 season in 2020, Spielman may be willing to surrender some pieces from his war chest — especially to land in the second round where he’s proven to strike gold in drafting prospects like Dalvin Cook, Irv Smith Jr. and Eric Kendricks.
“Let’s say we go in whatever direction we go and I see most of the guys we are going to be targeting are going to be gone by the end of the second round, then we are probably going to have to be aggressive to move up in the second. I think we have enough draft capital to do that,” Spielman said, per Cronin.
He added that the Vikings’ quartet of fourth-round picks could help them move into the second round.