5 potential Vikings 2020 NFL Draft targets to know

(Photo by Grant Halverson/Getty Images) Jordan Love
(Photo by Grant Halverson/Getty Images) Jordan Love /
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(Photo by Daniel Dunn/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images) Alex Leatherwood
(Photo by Daniel Dunn/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images) Alex Leatherwood /

Alex Leatherwood – OT (Alabama)

Vikings fans are all too familiar with how bad the team’s offensive line has been in the past. In 2018, Minnesota’s group of blockers was one of the worst in the NFL. This year has been a real improvement as the unit ranks in the top half of the league according to Football Outsiders.

But that doesn’t mean the front office should stop improving the offensive line. The Vikings are still allowing too much pressure on the edge and up the middle. If they get the chance to draft Alex Leatherwood in 2020, they should pull the trigger and get their left tackle of the future.

Leatherwood was one of the top offensive linemen in the nation and one of the top prospects from Florida when he was being recruited out of high school. He was a unanimous five-star recruit and he was ranked inside the top-five of offensive tackles by all the major recruiters.

During his freshman year at Alabama, he didn’t get much playing time, but he took off when he took over for Jonah Williams in the National Championship game where he performed very well.

Leatherwood secured a starting job as a sophomore, but it wasn’t at left tackle where his natural position is. It was at right guard and was still named to the All-SEC second team.

He’s currently in the middle of his junior season this year and he made the move over to left tackle with Williams being selected in the first round of the most recent NFL Draft.

Leatherwood has shot up draft boards already, showing a wide range of desirable traits. He’s one of the more athletic offensive tackles in this class. He does a great job mirroring defenders and using his hands to ward off opposing pass rushers.

His countermoves are great and he remains in position often. He has a lot of power that looks natural when taking on bigger defensive linemen. He has a great first step and gets into his pass sets very nicely.

The Vikings have talked about moving Riley Reiff to guard in the past and if they draft Leatherwood, this may end up being the case for next season.

We’ve seen a lot of questionable play from the interior of the Minnesota’s line since Pat Elflein made the move from center to left guard, which means he could be a possible outlier if the team drafts the Alabama left tackle.

Nonetheless, Leatherwood would be able to step in right away and contribute greatly for the Vikings in 2020 if the team is able to land him in next year’s draft.