6 linebackers the Vikings could select in the 2020 NFL Draft

(Photo by Adam Bettcher/Getty Images) Carter Coughlin
(Photo by Adam Bettcher/Getty Images) Carter Coughlin /
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Minnesota Vikings
(Photo by Joe Robbins/Getty Images) Julian Okwara /

Julian Okwara (Notre Dame)


  • Height: 6-foot-4 | Weight: 252 pounds

2019 Stats:

  • 19 total tackles, (7 for a loss)
  • 5 sacks
  • 2 forced fumbles

If the Vikings are going to use a Day 2 pick on a linebacker it could be on a guy like Julian Okwara, who can get after the quarterback. Okwara played primarily with his hand in the dirt at Notre Dame, but he has shown the ability to drop into coverage and he possesses the overall athletic ability to do so.

Okwara has a nice frame with long limbs. He has a good nose for the football and he can take on blockers while maintaining pursuit to the ball carrier. His 2019 season numbers are a little disappointing, but he missed a large portion of the season with a broken leg.

He is relatively new to the game of football having only played it since high school as he was born in Nigeria. So while he lacks experience, he does have a high ceiling.

If the Vikings were to take Okwara, they’d have a decision to make. Would they try to bulk this kid up and use him primarily at defensive end? Or would they keep him at his current build and mold him into the next Anthony Barr?

Okwara is an outside linebacker in Minnesota’s system and potentially a defensive end down the road. He would be used as a rotational pass rusher as a rookie until the Vikings figure out where they want him long term.