5 players the Vikings will watch closely at the 2019 NFL Combine

(Photo by Michael Hickey/Getty Images) Mike Hughes
(Photo by Michael Hickey/Getty Images) Mike Hughes /
5 of 6

Embed from Getty Images

Jalen Jelks – DE/OLB (Oregon)

Anthony Barr is likely gone and Jalen Jelks could be an ideal replacement for the Vikings. Jelks about the same size as Barr and Minnesota could look to put him in a similar role as No. 55.

This year’s NFL Combine will be huge for Jelks. After watching this guy on tape, the biggest question mark is his overall athletic ability. He comes off as a bit stiff in the hips and in his overall movements. Jelks just doesn’t seem to be the athlete that Barr is.

The Vikings will still be watching closely on how this guy moves in the drills this week though. Jelks’ 40-yard dash time will be key and how he performs in the linebacker drills will give Minnesota a rough idea if he could potentially replace Barr as their strong-side linebacker in 2019.

The Vikings will also want to get Jelks on the chalkboard and test his knowledge of who he would be covering in certain situations and defensive formations.

If he impresses in the physical drills and he also shows an understanding of complex defensive schemes in the class room, Minnesota could very well look at him as Barr’s replacement for next season.

This would be huge for the Vikings as it would allow them to address other positions with their first couple of choices this year since they would know that they could land Jelks with a third or maybe even fourth-round selection.