Entering the 2021 NFL Draft, the Minnesota Vikings hold the No. 14 selection in the first round. The team finished 7-9 last season, so they weren't that far from being a .500. With whoever they select in the first round, the Vikings will want to make sure that it's a player who can contribute right away.
With that being said, the wrong pick could have Minnesota missing out on the playoffs in back-to-back years.
Here are three players that the Vikings should avoid in the first round of the draft.
1. Any Quarterback That Falls
Some believe Mac Jones could go as high as No. 3 in the NFL Draft, while other people have mocked him closer to the middle of Round 1. Tre Lance and Justin Fields have also received similar potential wide-range projections. While some Vikings fans may be tired of Kirk Cousins, he still had over 4,200 yards in 2020. If Minnesota wants its quarterback of the future, there are several available options in later rounds. Their first-round pick should be used to address a more immediate need.
2. Alijah Vera-Tucker, OL, USC
At 6'4" and 315 lbs, Alijah Vera-Tucker is an intriguing prospect. While some experts are projecting him to be a mid-first selection, the Vikings should avoid him. There's nothing wrong with Vera-Tucker, but Minnesota needs to address their defensive line first. The Vikings allowed 134.4 rushing yards per game in 2020 (27th), including allowing Alvin Kamara to score six touchdowns in a Christmas Day game against the New Orleans Saints.
3. DeVonta Smith, WR, Alabama
Make no mistake: DeVonta Smith is a beast. He had 117 receptions for 1,856 yards and 23 touchdowns last season. There's a good chance that the reigning Heisman Trophy winner will have a successful NFL career. However, the Vikings don't need Smith. Yes, Adam Thielen is getting older, but he and Justin Jefferson are still one of the top receiving duos in the league. As mentioned before, the Vikings need to focus on their defensive line in the first round and fill out other needs as the draft goes on. And with 11 total picks in the 2021 NFL Draft, Minnesota will have plenty of chances to do that.
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