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Good or Bad?: Grading the Viking’s recent draft picks

With the NFL draft in our rearview mirror, it’s about time we take a look at what players had the misfortune to be taken by the Minnesota Vikings. Which bright-eyed young man will have the privilege of suiting up for the purple and gold only to go 7-10 in the 2021 season? We should take a look at the first few of these poor bastards, and at least acknowledge them now before they inevitably fade into obscurity under the impeccable tutelage of Head Coach Mike Zimmer.

Round 1, Pick #23 – Christian Darrisaw, Offensive Tackle (Virginia Tech)

An excellent value pick at 23 overall, the Vikings managed to snag the third best offensive tackle and fourth best offensive lineman in the class.

While that doesn’t sound all that great in a normal year, this year’s class had an insane amount of depth at the position, with Oregon Tackle Penei Sewell going to the Detroit Lions at pick #7, Northwestern Tackle Rashawn Slater going to the Los Angeles Chargers at pick #13, and USC guard Elijah Vera-Tucker going to the New York Jets at pick #14. Darrisaw is likely a day one starter and will provide much needed insurance for a Vikings offensive line that has been suspect in recent years, allowing 39 sacks in this past season alone.

Round 3, Pick #66 – Kellen Mond, Quarterback (Texas A&M)

In an insanely deep quarterback class, Mond became the sixth QB off the board. A project player out of Texas A&M, Mond had a pretty decent college career, leading the Aggies to 9-1 record in an abridged 2020 college football season, ending as the fourth ranked team in the country in the AP poll, behind only the Ohio State Buckeyes, Clemson Tigers, and the eventual national champion Alabama Crimson Tide. Despite going on to be named the senior bowl MVP, Mond has not shown enough potential to have any real chance of unseating Kirk Cousins for the starting job this coming fall. I expect Mond to spend much of his NFL career holding a clipboard.

Round 3, Pick #78 – Chazz Surratt, Linebacker (North Carolina)

Looking to shore up what was a historically bad defense this past season, the Vikings found a nice piece in the third round in Surratt. Despite being recruited to play quarterback, Surratt decided to make the switch to linebacker after struggling with both inconsistency and injury. The decision would pay off greatly, as over his last two seasons as a Tar Heel Surratt would be named First Team All-ACC. Surrat will provide the Vikings with nice depth at the linebacker position, offering much needed assistance to a struggling unit.

Also, I just want to take a moment to say goodbye. I’m going to be graduating in just a few weeks, so this will be my last article for the Mess. It’s been a great three years writing for this paper, and I want to thank my editors (particularly Eli Tan <3), and particularly you all for taking the time to read my incoherent ramblings. Love you all.

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