Sliding outside of the top-ten in this NFL mock draft, the Los Angeles Chargers take the best available player to form one of the best young linebacker pairings in the NFL and potentially replace outgoing pass-rusher Melvin Ingram. Most concisely described as an absolute freak athlete, Penn State linebacker Micah Parsons packs 245-pounds into an athletic frame with the range to keep pace with the most athletic of tight ends roaming the AFC West.
A downhill gap-stuffer in run defense with excess physicality, Parsons could find himself placed on the edge as a stand-up pass-rusher in his first year with the team following the loss of Joey Bosa’s partner in crime. With five sacks in his final season at Penn State, Parsons clearly has the athletic ability and will have the chance to develop a well-rounded pass-rush before moving back alongside Kenneth Murray.
After a season that saw the Minnesota Vikings’ defensive line become one of the least impressive in football, the primary focus on their offseason ventures will be replacing the production lost from former defensive ends Everson Griffen and Danielle Hunter. Both playing as conventional 4-3 defensive ends with key roles in run defense, both of the top edge talents of the 2021 NFL Draft are suitable options at number 14 overall.
In this NFL mock draft though, the Minnesota Vikings opt for the long & strong ‘tweener’ out of Miami in Gregory Rousseau. At six-foot-seven, Rousseau sports exceptional length to outreach and out leverage opposing offensive tackles.
At only 265-pounds, Rousseau will need to either add an explosive first-step that can translate into power with his long arms or add functional strength to become a premier three-down pass-rusher.