Vikings move down to take Virginia Tech’s Christian Darrisaw

Published 8:44 am Friday, April 30, 2021

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EAGAN, Minn. — The Minnesota Vikings were rewarded for their calculated gamble Thursday night, landing offensive tackle Christian Darrisaw after a nine-spot slide down the NFL draft board.

Now they’re banking on blocking for Kirk Cousins being a less risky proposition.

The Vikings took Darrisaw out of Virginia Tech with the 23rd overall selection on Thursday night, bolstering an uncertain offensive line after a familiar draft-night move to stockpile more picks.

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Darrisaw, a late-blooming, long-armed athletic blocker at 6-foot-5 and 322 pounds, was a second team All-American in 2020. He can fill a significant opening at left tackle after Riley Reiff was released for salary cap savings. He also checks a box for the Vikings by adding size to a group that has been plenty mobile but sometimes outmanned by bigger defensive lines.

“He’s got really good strength. He’s a good kid. He’s a hard worker and really athletic,” coach Mike Zimmer said. “I don’t know that there was a priority. It was find the guy who we thought would come in and fit the best.”

The Vikings had the No. 14 spot on the board, which would have been their highest in six years. They sent the pick to the New York Jets with one of their four choices in the fourth round (No. 143 overall) to settle at No. 23 — which originally came from Seattle in the deal for safety Jamal Adams — and add two third-round selections (No. 66 and No. 86).

“We were a little tight in the draft room,” general manager Rick Spielman said.