4 under-the-radar Vikings who could make an impact in 2020

(Photo by Jonathan Bachman/Getty Images) Alexander Hollins
(Photo by Jonathan Bachman/Getty Images) Alexander Hollins /
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Minnesota Vikings
(Photo by Timothy T Ludwig/Getty Images) Oli Udoh /

Oli Udoh – OT

The biggest and sexiest news regarding the Vikings offensive line this offseason was the selection of Ezra Cleveland in the 2020 NFL Draft.

Minnesota took the athletic Cleveland in the second round to be their starting left tackle of the future. While he might need about half a year of seasoning, he is a perfect fit for Gary Kubiak’s blocking scheme and it shouldn’t take him long to surpass Riley Reiff on the Vikings’depth chart.

One Minnesota offensive tackle who isn’t getting a lot of buzz this year is Oli Udoh. Udoh was a sixth-round pick in 2019, but he was inactive for the majority of his rookie season.

He did end up playing quite a bit during the Vikings’ regular-season finale against the Chicago Bears and during the matchup, he showed toughness and tenacity.

Udoh attacked the Bears defenders with a surprising amount of aggression. In one instance he even pancaked Chicago pass rusher, Khalil Mack. Even though the game was pretty meaningless, Udoh showed he can play in the NFL and put some good snaps on film.

Udoh won’t supplant Brian O’Neill, Reiff, or Cleveland at tackle for Minnesota this season, but he could become one of the primary backups.

There have also been rumblings that the tenacious blocker could be moved to guard. He would have a realistic shot to win a starting job there over Pat Elflein or Dru Samia. Obviously, losing reps without mini-camps this year hurts, but chances are still good that the Vikings will get a lot more out of Udoh this season than they did in 2019.