6 new NFC North rivalries for the Vikings that will start in 2020

(Photo by Hannah Foslien/Getty Images) Adam Thielen
(Photo by Hannah Foslien/Getty Images) Adam Thielen /
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Minnesota Vikings
(Photo by Stacy Revere/Getty Images) Eric Kendricks /

Eric Kendricks vs. Cole Kmet

The Bears didn’t get to make a pick in this year’s NFL Draft until the second round, but they ended up finding great value with some of their choices.

On offense, Chicago was able to land tight end Cole Kmet. Watching film of this 6-foot-6, 262-pound kid could remind one of current Tampa Bay Buccaneers tight end Rob Gronkowski.

Kmet big, physical, and quick. He’ll be a nice safety valve for Mitch Trubisky or Nick Foles and he will assuredly be a thorn in the Vikings side for many seasons to come as he’s a physical mismatch for just about anyone who is tasked with trying to cover him.

While the Minnesota linebackers who cover Kmet could change depending on the formation, the one who is the best in pass coverage and who the Vikings would like to see on this big target is Eric Kendricks.

Kendricks took a huge step forward in his pass coverage a season ago. He stayed on his man like glue and was able to break up an astounding 12 passes in 2019. He’s easily Minnesota’s best cover linebacker and he could be their best chance to slow down this dangerous new weapon of the Bears’.

Kmet should see plenty of action this season, even though Chicago seems to have a stockpile of tight ends. He may play second fiddle early in the season to Jimmy Graham, but it probably won’t take him long to ascend to being the team’s number one tight end.

The Vikings will likely see plenty of him in their two contests against the Bears this year. For both of these matchups, Minnesota will be hoping Kendricks can slow the rookie down.