4 positive Minnesota Vikings storylines at the 2020 midseason point

(Photo by Adam Bettcher/Getty Images) Irv Smith Jr.
(Photo by Adam Bettcher/Getty Images) Irv Smith Jr. /
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Minnesota Vikings
(Photo by Stephen Maturen/Getty Images) Jeff Gladney /

Gladney’s steady progress

Jeff Gladney has endured something of a baptism of fire during his first few games with the Vikings. The 2020 first-round pick was thrust into a starting position early this season thanks to a distinct lack of quality alternatives and this has come with some expected growing pains.

Gladney’s standard of play has steadily improved with each passing game though. He doesn’t look overwhelmed in the slightest and this confidence is something that can serve both him and Minnesota well for years to come.

Minnesota made a bold move to part ways with Xavier Rhodes, Mackensie Alexander, and Trae Waynes this past offseason. Going with a young core with little in the form of starting experience was a huge gamble. But judging by what we’ve seen from Gladney and, to a lesser extent Cameron Dantzler, the future might just be incredibly bright after all.

The former TCU star is improving in coverage, which was suspect early on. His physicality is another standout feature of Gladney’s game that shouldn’t be overlooked and if he can build on this in the second half of the season, then this will be the latest high-end draft pick the Vikings have struck gold on.

This was a sink or swim scenario for Gladney, especially with No. 1 option Mike Hughes going on IR recently. Thankfully for the rookie corner and Minnesota, he’s fallen into the latter.