The 2020 NFL Draft starts on Thursday, April 23. As a lead up to the draft, we’ll be giving a team-by-team breakdown for positional needs. For each team, we’ll give an overview of each team’s current depth chart and how big of a need each position in the upcoming draft. Find all teams and the rest of our draft content in our NFL Draft Hub.
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Minnesota Vikings 2020 Draft Picks Overview
Round 1 (22)
Round 1 (25)
Round 2 (58)
Round 3 (89)
Round 3 (105)
Round 4 (132)
Round 5 (155)
Round 6 (205)
Round 6 (207)
Round 7 (219)
Round 7 (249)
Round 7 (253)
Minnesota Vikings Offense
by Rich Hribar
2019 Minnesota Vikings Ranks
*denotes new addition
Kirk Cousins is capable of looking like a legit franchise passer for stretches. Coming off season-high marks in touchdown rate (5.9%) and yards per attempt (8.1 Y/A), Cousins and the Vikings worked out a two-year extension this offseason to keep him with the team through 2022. Minnesota’s backup quarterback situation could be better behind Cousins, leaving the door open to add a late-round backup on day three.
Minnesota got a huge third-year breakout from Dalvin Cook. Cook notched 1,654 yards from scrimmage and 13 touchdowns while catching 53 passes. He did once again miss multiple games for the third consecutive season, but has not averaged 5.4 yards per touch over his first three seasons. Right now, he’s approaching the final season of his rookie contract, but the team has had early talks on a potential extension.
Behind Cook, the Vikings took Alexander Mattison in the third round (100th overall) last season, who tallied 544 yards from scrimmage on 110 touches in relief. Mike Boone will be a restricted free agent at the end of the 2020 season. Minnesota has a rock-solid running back group and unless they believe that contract negotiations really deteriorate with Cook, don’t have to invest in the position.
After trading Stefon Diggs this offseason, the Vikings have a large void to fill at the wide receiver position. Diggs was second in the NFL in receiving yards per team pass attempt (2.42 yards) in 2019 and accounted for 30.3% of the Minnesota passing yardage, which was sixth among all wideouts. The team has Adam Thielen to take on more opportunity, but will also be 30-years-old this upcoming season and has had 69-866-9 with two 100-yard games over his past 18 games played in the regular season. Hamstring issues sapped his 2019 season, but you’d like more insurance behind him.
Minnesota used 11 personnel on a league-low 18% of their passing plays in 2019 (league rate was 64%), but this team needs to add viable depth and protection behind Thielen. With a host of draft picks, Minnesota should exit this draft with multiple wide receivers.
Irv Smith Jr.
Kyle Rudolph (39-367-6) and Irv Smith Jr. (36-311-2) combined for solid production in 2019 as the Vikings used 12 personnel 46% of their passing plays, which trailed only the Eagles (54%). Smith was taken in the second round (50th overall) of last year’s draft and will be expected to take another step forward in year two. Rudolph signed a four-year extension last offseason, but the club can get out from the remaining years of that deal with reduced dead cap hits after this upcoming season. With the top of their depth chart in order for 2020, however, the Vikings don’t have to pursue the position outside of a potential later-round addition.
LT: Riley Reiff/Aviante Collins
LG: Pat Elflein
C: Garrett Bradbury/Brett Jones
RG: Dru Samia/Dakota Dozier
RT: Brian O’Neill/Rashod Hill/Olisaemeka Udoh
The Vikings were a middle to below-average pass blocking team in 2019, rankings 14th in our pass protection efficiency and 14th in adjusted sack rate allowed, but were 23rd in ESPN’s pass blocking win rate as a group. They were strong in the run game, ranking seventh in adjusted line yards created per Football Outsiders. From a grading perspective, Minnesota didn’t have one offensive lineman finish with a positive grade on the season from Pro Football Focus.
Minnesota ranks 30th in the league in 2020 investment into their offensive line per cap allocation due to all of O’Neill, Samia, Bradbury, and Elflein all currently on their rookie contracts. Only Elflein has an expiring contract from that group after this season with left tackle Riley Reiff singed through 2021. Minnesota should add depth at guard to compete this season with an eye on Elflein potentially moving on, while exploring tackle depth.
Minnesota Vikings Defense
by Dan Pizzuta
2019 Minnesota Vikings Defensive Ranks
interior defensive line
The Vikings moved on from Linval Joseph but replaced him with Michael Pierce — a rare place where they actually replaced a departing player on defense. While this could still be an above-average run defense interior line, there is little to no potential pass rush here. That’s a problem.
Everson Griffen is gone and does not appear to be returning as a free agent. That leaves Danielle Hunter, who is still dominant, and some questions on the edge for the Vikings. Ifedi Odeninigbo had seven sacks as a rotational player but ranked 43rd of 81 edge rushers with at least 250 pass rushes in pressure rate per SIS. He’s penciled in as a starter and that pressure will have to increase while his sack rate is likely to regress. Both Eddie Yarbrough and Anothony Zettel both flashed in 2017 but haven’t seen the field much since.
Eric Kendricks was one of the best coverage linebackers in the league last season and he made up for a step back from Anthony Barr. Still, this is one of the stronger units, especially for the Vikings who didn’t lose anyone of note from the group this offseason.
Xavier Rhodes, Trae Waynes, and Mackensie Alexander are all gone. That wasn’t a great trio in 2019 (Alexander was the only one who performed above expectations) but the loss of all of those players takes away any semblance of depth at the position. Mike Hughes is now left as the No. 1. With one of Minnesota’s first-round picks, a corner will likely be taken.
The good news is Anthony Harris and Harrison Smith are quite good. The bad news is they’re the only safeties currently on Minnesota’s roster. Even Harris was a question mark as a possible trade candidate under the franchise tag, but it appears an extension is likely to come. Still, the Vikings are going to need something behind them on the depth chart and could use more help if the corner situation remains poor.