5 possible Minnesota Vikings 2020 NFL Draft targets to know

(Photo by Matthew Visinsky/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images) Lucas Niang
(Photo by Matthew Visinsky/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images) Lucas Niang /
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(Photo by Andrew Dieb/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images) Lucas Niang
(Photo by Andrew Dieb/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images) Lucas Niang /

Lucas Niang – OT (TCU)

Lucas Niang is a senior tackle for the TCU Horned Frogs. He is a mountain of a man standing 6-foot-7 and weighing 328 pounds. He went to New Canaan High School where he was ranked as the number one offensive tackle recruit in the state of Connecticut and the third overall player.

Niang helped his high school team to three straight state titles and was named the 2015 Walter Camp All-Connecticut team. Some interesting and useless information, he is the Horned Frogs’ first signee from the state of Connecticut.

As a freshman, Niang was able to see the field in 12 of 13 games, though he didn’t log a start that year. In his sophomore year, he played in 12 games and started eight of them. All of those starts came in the final games of the regular season for TCU.

Last year during his junior season, Niang started in all 13 games, all of which were at right tackle. He was the only offensive lineman for TCU to start every game of the season and he did not allow a single sack.

According to Pro Football Focus, Niang had an 86.3 percent grade, which was the highest grade among offensive tackles in the Big 12 who played a minimum of 300 snaps in 2018 and returning for the 2019 season. He was also awarded to Pro Football Focus’ First-Team All-Big 12 and was also named to the Second-Team All-Big 12.

Building a strong offensive line and gaining comradery between them is key for every offense in the NFL. That’s something that feels like it has been non-existent for the Vikings the past few seasons. It appears to be coming together slowly but surely and adding a piece like Niang would be nearing the final piece to the puzzle.

Niang has the athletic ability and the pass blocking prowess to move to the left side to be Kirk Cousins’ blindside blocker. His strength and mobility make him tough for edge rushers and his big frame makes him a pain to try to get around. With Niang missing the majority of the season this year due to injury, the Vikings could luck out by getting him in the second round and if they’re really lucky, the third round.