Kenny Willekes – DE (Michigan State)
Kenny Willekes is an imposing figure who enjoyed a phenomenal tenure at Michigan State. He displays a freakish athleticism that will leave scouts salivating at this week’s NFL Scouting Combine and the event could see him become a hot commodity when the draft kicks off in April.
With 23.5 sacks during his last three seasons, Willekes is adept at getting to the quarterback and his explosiveness off the line of scrimmage contributes significantly to any success that comes his way.
He is also a solid mover and he can defend the run impressively when called upon. Willekes seems like a well-rounded pass rusher that is going to give a good account of himself at this year’s Combine.
Whether he can be an every-down lineman in the NFL is another matter. Willekes may be better suited in a rotational role to maximize his impact on passing downs. This would fit in well with Minnesota’s current line should Griffen decided to sign elsewhere this offseason.
Danielle Hunter’s evolution into one of the best players operating at the defensive end position is now complete. Odenigbo, Anthony Barr, and Stephen Weatherly are also more than capable of getting to the quarterback on a consistent basis from the outside with Linval Joseph clogging up the middle (if he is not released this year).
Adding someone with the potential of Willekes at this year’s NFL Draft could prove to be a smart move by the Vikings front office.