Vikings select DE Kenny Willekes in seventh round of 2020 NFL Draft

(Photo by Joe Robbins/Getty Images) Kenny Willekes
(Photo by Joe Robbins/Getty Images) Kenny Willekes /

With their first of multiple selections in the seventh round of the 2020 NFL Draft, the Minnesota Vikings went defense again and added Kenny Willekes.

Saturday has been an incredibly busy afternoon for the Minnesota Vikings during the final rounds of the 2020 NFL Draft. They’ve added multiple prospects on both the offensive and defensive side of the ball while also making some trades that have resulted in them acquiring selections for next year’s draft.

To kick off their picks in the seventh round on Saturday, the Vikings decided to select former Michigan State defensive end Kenny Willekes.

At Michigan State last season, Willekes appeared in 13 games and finished with 78 tackles (15.5 for a loss), 10 sacks, and one forced fumble. In five years at the school, the talented pass rusher racked up a total of 23.5 sacks and 49 tackles for a loss.

During this year’s NFL Scouting Combine, Willekes put up some impressive numbers. The 6-foot-3, 264-pound pass rusher ran his 40-yard dash in 4.87 seconds and he put up 32 reps on the bench press (225 pounds).

Based on his testing numbers at the Combine, Mockdraftable compares him to some very talented current NFL defensive linemen including Geno Atkins and Yannick Ngakoue.

With Everson Griffen not expected to return in 2020 and Stephen Weatherly signing with the Carolina Panthers this offseason, Minnesota needed to improve their pass-rushing depth during this year’s draft and they’ve done just that with selections like Willekes, D.J. Wonnum, and James Lynch.

light. Related Story. 5 best Vikings pass rushers of the 21st century

Willekes is also the eighth defensive player to be drafted by the Vikings this year. Minnesota knew the draft was going to be very important when it came to improving their depth on defense and it’s clearly been a point of emphasis during the last three days.