• Connor Smith

Vikings 2020 NFL Draft Review

Vikings 2020 NFL Draft Review

Connor Smith

Overview: Honestly, the Vikings draft was easily one of my favorite’s this year. There were not many choices that I thought they should have gone with somebody else. They used both their first round picks beautifully. They then went on to kill every other round of the draft. They filled holes they were missing and got some really talented players that will contribute heavily early and often.

Pick 22

Justin Jefferson: The Vikings didn’t have to trade up in front of the Eagles at 21 to get a top 5 receiver in this stacked class. My thinking is they were OK with Raegor falling to them but when a truly better receiver in Jefferson fell they couldn’t pass it up. To fill the hole they created when they traded Diggs with the exact pick they got for him is awesome. Just a great pick and he will be great next to Theilen.

Grade: A

Pick 31

Jeff Gladney: I had Gladney going a few picks earlier to the Titans. They let the draft come to them and didn’t mess it up when it did. Gladney is a great in coverage, a great tackler, and won’t acquire penalties even though he plays a tough, physical brand of football. His physical build and abilities are perfect for Mike Zimmer’s defense. This is an awesome fit and I think he will be a great contributor with the Vikings as they build a new secondary.

Grade: A-

Pick 58

Ezra Cleaveland: As a Mountain West football fan, Boise State has been a dominant football team for a while. That’s because they build strong players in the trenches. Cleaveland is an athletic freak of a tackle and has a tantalizingly high ceiling. He could easily become one of the best tackles in the NFL in a few years. He’s projected as a project for the Vikings but I do think he will be very worth the work. There is still the risk here and he has some bust ability in his build and tape. That being said this pick was a worthwhile risk.

Grade: B+

Pick 89

Cameron Dantlzer: Dantlzer is an amazingly lengthy player. He was one of the best SEC cornerbacks over the last two years. He’s a sure tackler with ball skills and long arms to get in and breakup passes. After watching him play and looking at his build I honestly see a first round cornerback. His combine 40 was the thing that pushed him out. He ran a glacier-like 4.64 40. He did send teams a video of an individual pro-day where he ran a Flash-like 4.38. I’m happy for the Vikings here because I truly think they just had an absolute beast fall into their laps.

Grade: A+

Pick 117

D.J. Wonnum: According to Courtney Cronin of ESPN, the Vikings have been following Wonnum for the entire draft process. Physically he looks like another great D-lineman Dannielle Hunter. Wonnum will get to play next year and will continue to grow. He’s going to be a good piece they will use rotationally early as he hopefully grows into a truly productive defensive end.

Grade: B-

Pick 130

James Lynch: Lynch is a powerful rusher who causes pressure on a large amount of his rushes. The career sack leader for Baylor was a unanimous all-american. He fell to 130 because of technique questions as well as athleticism concerns. That being said, he is a dog. He is a hard-worker and his 13.5 sacks last year don’t even fully show what he did.

Grade: B

Pick 132

Troy Dye: Dye Doesn’t get cheated on tackles. In his 4 years at Oregon he led the team every year in tackles. He fell much farther than I think he should have and it seems the Vikings got gifted another great prospect. His story is similar to Anthony Barr’s coming out of UCLA in terms of not being used in the way NFL teams will. Now he’s teammates with Barr!

Grade: A

Pick 169

Harrison Hand: The Vikings get another physical lengthy corner here and they’ve absolutely retooled their defensive back room. This is a good pick. Hand is a physical, lengthy guy who can tackle and can cover. The Vikings entered the draft in need of cornerbacks and they’ve gotten them.

Grade: B

Pick 176

K.J. Osborn: Osborn doesn’t jump off the page and I’m not sure if I love how early they took him but it seems that they really loved his return abilities and his variety on offense. They got Jefferson earlier so there wasn’t a huge need for another starting receiver.

Grade: C

Pick 203

Blake Brandel: Brandel is freaking huge. He’s a developmental pick and the Vikings historically have loved to pick developmental O-lineman in the 6th and 7th. He’ll have to fight for a roster spot but if he makes it, he will have a great “red-shirt” year.

Grade: B

Pick 205

Josh Metellus: The Vikings are very short on safety depth so Metellus has a good chance to make the roster out of camp. A 3-year starter at Michigan is a great program to come from. They don’t need Metellus to start but he has a good chance to play at least a bit.

Grade: B

Pick 225

Kenny Willekes: This guy had early mid-round talent and the Vikings got him early in the 7th round. He’s Michigan State’s career tackles for loss leader. Had 10.5 sacks in 2019 as a senior to lead the Spartans and rank 5th in the Big Ten. Going to be fun to see how they use him.

Grade: B+

Pick 244

Nate Stanley: With their first QB selection since Teddy Bridgewater in 2014, the Vikings select a tall pocket passer with very accuracy concern. He will compete for the 3rd QB spot and could move to 2nd on the depth chart through the season.

Grade: B

Pick 249

Brian Cole: Cole could turn out to be an absolute steal. He’s quick with a 4.52 40 at the combine. He’s played safety and some linebacker and there’s rumors that he can play cornerback with his speed. It’s going to be interesting to see how he is used as he has experience at many different places.

Grade: B

Pick 253

Kyle Hinton: The Vikings had 15 picks and did a great job with a massive amount of them. They however took 3 offensive lineman and 2 of them most likely won’t make the 53-man. Hinton is to small and needs to move inside on the line and most likely won’t make an impact until a few years out if he ever even makes an impact.

Grade: C


It was a great draft for the Vikings except for the perceived mistakes on the offensive line. Still the Vikings got a few steals I believe and they fixed some spots that needed fixing. The O-line will still be a problem this coming year so we will see how that goes but it is what it is is how Speilman looked at that position after he didn’t get Trent Williams it seems.

Best Pick: While their first three picks were all very good, I think the 4th pick of Cameron Dantzler was the best pick. Dantlzer will become one of the best corners in football in the coming years and when 2020 redrafts are being done he will be picked in the top 20 around the likes of Jeff Gladney and Jeff Okudah.

Worst Pick: The offensive line picks outside of Ezra Cleavland. The Vikings took an O-lineman in the 6th and 7th round and neither in my opinion is ever going to have an impact on an NFL game that is noteworthy enough to earn them more than 5 years in the league.

Overall Grade: A-