5 Minnesota Vikings players with something to prove in 2020

(Photo by Jonathan Bachman/Getty Images) Adam Thielen
(Photo by Jonathan Bachman/Getty Images) Adam Thielen /
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Minnesota Vikings
(Photo by Peter G. Aiken/Getty Images) Ifeadi Odenigbo /

Ifeadi Odenigbo – DE

Ifeadi Odenigbo is a great story for the Vikings. He was a late-round draft pick in 2017 who made the practice squad during his rookie season.

The following year Odenigbo was heading that way again as he was cut by Minnesota before the start of the regular season, but he ended up getting signed by the Cleveland Browns before clearing waivers. The Browns released him a month later and he spent a little time with the Arizona Cardinals before getting released again and winding back home to the purple and gold.

Odenigbo blossomed under the tutelage of Vikings defensive line coach Andre Patterson and busted out with seven sacks a season ago. Minnesota didn’t bring Everson Griffen back this year, and now Odenigbo is expected to be one of the Vikings’ two starting defensive ends in 2020.

He’ll be under a lot of pressure to prove last season wasn’t a fluke and prove he can produce with the added snaps that go along with being a starter.

Odenigbo came off the bench last year and he was playing with fresh legs late in games. That won’t be the case this season. He’ll likely see up to 500 more snaps as a starter and his stamina and strength will be tested every week. Opposing offenses will also be game-planning against him and try to find ways to slow him down.

Odenigbo clearly has the talent to be a successful starting defensive end in the NFL. But until he shows he can do it for a 16-game stretch, there will always be some doubt circling around his head.