Christian Darrisaw is one of the most talented offensive tackles set to participate in Thursday's 2021 NFL Draft.
The Virginia Tech prospect started games for the Hokies right from his freshman year and never looked back, improving his all-round game in each of his three seasons in college football.
Darrisaw stands at 6"5 and weighs 315 lbs. Darrisaw is an agile and big athlete. This enables him to operate seamlessly in both run- and pass-blocking schemes. His physical gifts and, in particular, long arms enable him to create space at the point of separation.
There aren't many college talents in this year's draft who can hold a torch to Darrisaw in his position. As such, the former Hokie is expected to be in high demand come Thursday, potentially going off the board in the first round.
But which team is most likely to draft the big left tackle, and where would his talents be most appreciated?
Let's take a look at the Top 3 landing spots for Christian Darrisaw:
Los Angeles Chargers (Pick No.13)
The Chargers had the lowest-ranked OL in all of football in 2020 via PFF grade.
The franchise acted quickly during free-agency to bring in the NFL's best center, Corey Linsley, to play guard. However, with Brian Bulaga and Trai Turner battling through injuries throughout the last campaign, the need for further reinforcements across the line is paramount.
The Chargers also lost Sam Tevi to the Colts via free agency, so what better way to strengthen the unit than with the college power five's highest rated pass-blocker Christian Darrisaw?
Minnesota Vikings (Pick No.14)
The Minnesota Vikings are slotted to pick right after the Chargers on Thursday and, if Darrisaw is still on the board, expect to see the Vikings make their move.
LT Riley Reiff departed Minnesota for the Bengals during the free-agency window, leaving the dependable Rashod Hill as the only true LT on the Vikings roster.
Head coach Mike Zimmer and co. have drafted OL early in the draft for the past three years in succession, but with only limited success.
Darrisaw could be the fix Vikings fans have been crying out for. The Vikings need an OL who is ready to come in and start games; Christian Darrisaw's draft profile suggests he's more than capable of doing so.
DraftNetwork wrote this about Darrisaw:
"The amount of technical growth Darrisaw has demonstrated throughout the course of his career is exciting when considering his starting point for the next level and how he peaked at the perfect time."
"It shouldn’t take long for Darrisaw to earn a starting role in the NFL and he has the upside to become a standout, franchise left tackle."
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Pittsburgh Steelers (Pick No.24)
After losing LT Alejandro Villanueva (seen above) to free agency and C Maurkice Pouncey to retirement, the Steelers OL doesn't have the same wow-factor it once carried. Coach Mike Tomlin has plenty of linemen on the roster but not many proven talents.
A big reason Darrisaw would be a great fit for Steel City is because of his ability to open up gaps for runners. The Steelers had one of the NFL's best pass-blocking units but one of the worst (ranked 31st via PFF) run blocking units.
Former RB James Conner is now a Cardinal, so it looks like Tomlin will want to snag a new RB early on in the draft. But whoever this new RB is, he's going to need better separation ahead of him and bigger gaps to explode into at the line.
Expect the Steelers to bolster their C, LT, and RB positions early on in the draft. It's impossible to predict which position Tomlin and co. will opt to select first, but if Darrisaw is on the board come pick No.24, there's a decent chance of him ending up in Pittsburgh.