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3 Vikings Veterans Fighting for Their Jobs Following NFL Draft

Max Staley
Three Minnesota Vikings veterans fighting for their jobs following the 2021 NFL Draft.
Three Minnesota Vikings veterans fighting for their jobs following the 2021 NFL Draft. / Stephen Maturen/Getty Images

The Minnesota Vikings made a whopping eight picks in the first four rounds of the 2021 NFL Draft. Having that much draft capital is great news for the franchise and exciting for the fans, but it's not exactly ideal for the team's veteran players.

General manager Rick Spielman will likely face some tough decisions this summer. He's going to be bringing in 11 rookies total, not counting any undrafted free-agent additions, and 10 of those players were picked in the first five rounds.

With so much cheap incoming talent, a few Minnesota vets could be out of luck this offseason. Here are three Vikings that could be fighting for their jobs this offseason.

3. Mason Cole, Guard/Center

Mason Cole was acquired in a pre-draft trade with the Arizona Cardinals. Minnesota only had to give up a sixth-round pick though, so it's not like the Vikes are committed to the 25-year-old. He's currently pencilled in to start at left guard, but it wouldn't be a shock whatsoever for third-round pick Wyatt Davis beat him out. Playing center in Arizona last year, Cole graded out as ProFootballFocus' 31st center out of 36 qualifiers. Davis, meanwhile, was viewed as one of the best interior linemen available in the draft. Seeing him slip out of Round 2 was a bit of a surprise. Cole could be relegated to a rotational role to backup Davis, Garrett Bradbury and Ezra Cleveland on the interior.

2. Anthony Barr, Linebacker

Anthony Barr looked like a superstar in the making early on, getting a Pro Bowl nod every year from 2015-18. But he fell off in a big way in 2019 and missed all but two games in 2020 due to injury. Playing out the remainder of what essentially works out to a one-year deal, as Minnesota can void his contract after 2021, Barr's job could be in danger. The team isn't committed to him long term anymore and just spent a third-round pick on linebacker Chazz Surratt. If Barr doesn't turn things around, Surratt has a chance to pass him on the depth chart sometime in 2021.

1. D.J. Wonnum, EDGE

D.J. Wonnum is currently projected to be the team's starter bookending superstar pass-rusher Danielle Hunter. But his performance last year didn't inspire much confidence. Playing 471 snaps in 2020, Wonnum only generated 3.0 sacks and 22 pressures. That's pretty much replacement-level production. Minnesota brought in two edge rushers in the first four rounds, landing Patrick Jones II (pick No. 90) and Janarius Robinson (pick No. 134). Jones looks like a real threat to overtake Wonnum at some point this season.

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Max Staley is not a FanDuel employee. In addition to providing DFS gameplay advice, Max Staley also participates in DFS contests on FanDuel using his personal account, username mstaley1212. While the strategies and player selections recommended in his articles are his personal views, he may deploy different strategies and player selections when entering contests with his personal account. The views expressed in their articles are the author's alone and do not necessarily reflect the views of FanDuel.