5 best value picks made by the Vikings during the 2020 NFL Draft

(Photo by Thearon W. Henderson/Getty Images) Troy Dye
(Photo by Thearon W. Henderson/Getty Images) Troy Dye /
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Minnesota Vikings
(Photo by Joe Robbins/Getty Images) Kenny Willekes /

Kenny Willekes – DE (Michigan State)

Seventh Round, Pick No. 225

Kenny Willekes was projected to go much earlier in the 2020 NFL Draft. There were plenty of mock drafts that him going as early as the fourth round. The reason he fell was that he lacked the measurables of other edge rushers in the draft.

He isn’t particularly big or fast and he isn’t as strong as many of the other defensive ends who were available this year. However, one area where he’s off the charts is effort. This guy is one of the hardest workers out there and he scrapped and fought to make the Spartans team as a walk on.

He carries that mentality with him on every snap of the football and it is that effort, motor, and instincts that could land him a spot on the Vikings roster this year.

Minnesota primarily keeps four defensive ends every year and obviously the top two are a lock with Danielle Hunter and Ifeadi Odenigbo. D.J. Wonnum is someone who co-defensive coordinator Andre Patterson wanted very badly, so he isn’t going anywhere either.

That puts Willekes in direct competition with an unproven Eddie Yarbrough and journeyman in Anthony Zettel. That’s a battle he can win. If he does and he has a role on the team as a rookie as a situational pass rusher, landing him in the seventh round will be considered a huge value for the Vikings.