5 prospects the Vikings could reach for in the 2020 NFL Draft

(Photo by Hannah Foslien/Getty Images) Antoine Winfield Jr.
(Photo by Hannah Foslien/Getty Images) Antoine Winfield Jr. /
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(Photo by Joe Robbins/Getty Images) Cesar Ruiz
(Photo by Joe Robbins/Getty Images) Cesar Ruiz /

Cesar Ruiz – C/G (Michigan)

The Vikings shockingly cut Josh Kline a week ago and that move continues to be perplexing. He was easily the team’s second-best offensive lineman in 2019 and the run game and pass protection were much better when he was on the field.

He did miss a couple of games with concussions but Minnesota only saved around $3 million by releasing him and his play a season ago clearly showed he was much more valuable than that.

Perhaps the Vikings are secretly high on last year’s fourth-round pick, Dru Samia. He did play well when he finally got the chance, but the fact he was a healthy scratch the majority of last season is concerning. Pat Elflein is the other guard on Minnesota’s roster and his struggles have been well documented and not worth the time to recap once again.

There is clearly a need for the Vikings to draft a big guard like Cesar Ruiz. But Minnesota selecting him at pick No. 22 or 25 is just way too early.

While there’s plenty to like about Ruiz with his size, movement skills, and nimble feet, he does need to get stronger as he could get overpowered in a similar way that Garrett Bradbury did a year ago.

The biggest reason to wait on picking a guard like Ruiz is that there should be similar players available later on in the draft. The Vikings have two third-round picks and prospects like Wisconsin’s Tyler Biadasz, Georgia’s Solomon Kindley, and Oregon’s Shane Lemieux could fill the need at guard just as well as Ruiz.