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 Adam Bettcher/Getty Images) Armon Watts /

Armon Watts – DT

The Vikings have a new look to their defensive line in 2020. They have gotten rid of long time players like Linval Joseph and Everson Griffen. They’ll be counting on newly signed Michael Pierce to stuff the run during the season and Ifeadi Odenigbo to provide the pass rush on the right side.

These two aren’t the only guys heading into new roles this year. Minnesota also selected James Lynch in the fourth round of the 2020 NFL Draft and he’s expected to provide some much needed interior pressure on passing downs for Minnesota.

While it’s exciting to see what the new faces will do and how Odenigbo will function in a starting role, there is a second-year player who could break out next season that no one is talking about.

That man is Armon Watts, who was a sixth-round pick of the Vikings in 2019. He didn’t see action until about halfway through his rookie season, but he was a surprisingly productive player.

Watts finished with 13 tackles, one pass break-up (which led to a touchdown), 1.5 sacks, and a forced fumble. Despite being a rookie, he showed the ability to stuff the run and provide an interior pass rush.

This dual-threat role could log him many more snaps with Minnesota in 2020. If he has a promising training camp and he flashes during preseason games it’s not out of the question that he ascends the depth chart and pushes Stephen, Johnson, and Lynch out of the way to end up starting opposite Pierce on the inside of the defensive line.