7 draft prospects who could replace Everson Griffen for the Vikings

(Photo by James Gilbert/Getty Images) Jonathan Greenard
(Photo by James Gilbert/Getty Images) Jonathan Greenard /
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(Photo by Joe Robbins/Getty Images) Julian Okwara
(Photo by Joe Robbins/Getty Images) Julian Okwara /

Julian Okwara (Notre Dame)

Julian Okwara is one of the most intriguing pass rushers available in the 2020 NFL Draft. If he has fully recovered from a broken left fibula, then he will undoubtedly be on the Vikings’ radar.

The former Notre Dame standout possesses enormous athletic gifts. This is down to a rare blend of speed and power than have the ability to wreak havoc in the NFL. He has a big enough frame to play defensive end, but he is equally adept at producing a fierce rushing ability as an outside linebacker if needed.

Minnesota head coach Mike Zimmer loves such skills in his pass rushers. This played a big role in the Vikings’ memorable wild card playoff victory over the New Orleans Saints last season when Everson Griffen and Danielle Hunter were moved to the defensive tackle position to get after Drew Brees from the interior.

Okwara will not offer much as a run defender, at least until he figures it all out at the next level. But his burst off the line of scrimmage and his ability to get around offensive linemen is going to come in very handy for whatever team drafts him.

Okwara recorded 15.5 sacks during his four seasons in college. This production would have been higher had it not been for injury. The prognosis is good going forward for him and although he is a little raw, he has a game-changing ability that is sure to be a hot commodity from the end of the first round onwards.