The 2021 draft class was underwhelming for the Vikings. 12 selections were made last April. None of them were full-time starters. Offensive tackle Christian Darrisaw and Kick returner/running back Kene Nwangwu were part-time starters as they recovered from injuries. From the group of 12 which others could take a sophomore jump? I picked three players who can start. Two of them shouldn’t be a surprise and one is.
Vikings Sophomores Who Could Make An Impact in 2022
Davis is the most obvious answer. The Ohio-State product was taken 86th overall in the third round of the 2021 draft. When the pick was made he was expected to compete for the starting right guard position. The interior of the offensive line has been a weakness for the Vikings for a long time. Davis was another shot of hope of fixing it. The former Buckeye’s rookie season was a disappointing one. He never started a single game.
He never took an offense snap at guard and was only active for six games all season. There is hope for Davis. Time is running out though, as Minnesota signed two veterans guards to compete for that right guard position. The two vets are Jesse Davis from the Miami Dolphins and Chris Reed from the Indianapolis Colts. He is going to have to prove to new head Coach Kevin O’Connell he can be a reliable starter. The advantages Wyatt has is he’s younger than the other two, has a clean slate from the Zimmer era, and is a high draft pick. Davis winning would be ideal for the Vikings.
The Cal product was taken in the fifth round of the draft last season as a safety. He played corner for the Golden Bears and made the switch for the Vikings for the 2021 season. Bynum was expected to compete for the back role behind Xavier Woods and Harrison Smith. During training camp and pre-season Bynum did a good job and secured a backup role. Earning a backup role as a fifth-rounder for Mike Zimmer speaks volumes as most draft picks don’t even sniff second string. Before the week nine game against the Baltimore Ravens Harrison Smith landed on the covid-19 list forcing Bynum to start. In that game, he shined and did a tremendous job.
He got his first interception with twelve tackles and posted a 90 PFF grade. The following week he had another great performance against the Chargers. He had six tackles, and a sack and didn’t allow a catch in coverage. With Woods gone and no free-agent moves made yet, it looks like Bynum is in a prime position to start and is ready to take that role. He stated in a press conference last week saying he expects to be a starter next to Harrison Smith.
Standing at six-foot-five weighing in at 260 pounds Robinson is a Danielle Hunter clone. He is just one of the latest attempts of Minnesota trying to find the next Hunter. Robinson was taken in the fourth round last season out of Florida State. The played in two of the Viking’s pre-season games before landing on the injured reserve list on August 23rd. Robinson is a huge edge rusher with amazing upside. He scored a 9.32 relative Athletics Score out of 10.0, which is freaky Athletic. With one year of learning under Hunter and training with him, Robinson can be a great role pass rusher for the Vikings in 2022.
The new Vikings regime has no attachment to last year’s class. They did not select them and they might not fit into their new schemes. This will be the 21 class’s last shot to play for the Vikings and the class of 2022 will be here in less than a week.