Minnesota Vikings: Redrafting the team’s 2020 NFL Draft class

(Photo by James Gilbert/Getty Images) Antoine Winfield Jr.
(Photo by James Gilbert/Getty Images) Antoine Winfield Jr. /
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Minnesota Vikings
(Photo by Douglas P. DeFelice/Getty Images) James Robinson /

Original Pick (225): Kenny Willekes – DE (Michigan State)

The Vikings landed the hard-working pass rusher with their first seventh-round choice. He had a decent camp and while it was unclear if he was going to make the final roster, he ended up getting hurt before cut day and placed on injured reserve, ending his season.

Redraft: Willekes

The Minnesota Vikings would likely take Willekes again given the chance. He doesn’t have great physical traits but works his tail off every single snap. He has a high ceiling and could will is way onto the team in 2021. With the options being limited here, taking Willekes again with the hopes he comes back healthy and hungry to show he belongs in this league, would be worth the gamble.

Original Pick (244): Nate Stanley – QB (Iowa)

Nate Stanley looks like a long shot to see the field this season and who knows if he’ll ever end up playing in a meaningful game for the Purple. With COVID running rampant, perhaps he gets called up for backup duty at some point, but it’s doubtful the Vikings would choose this signal-caller again if they could have a draft do-over.

Redraft: James Robinson – RB (Illinois State)

Instead of Stanley here, the Minnesota Vikings could’ve taken another running back even though they don’t really need one. The purpose of a draft is to accumulate as many talented football players, and Robinson certainly fills that need. This powerful and speedy back has been a huge surprise for the Jaguars. He has run for 580 yards on the season with five touchdowns. He’s also caught 27 passes for 225 yards with two more scores.

While he would be buried on the Vikings’ depth chart behind Cook, he could’ve pushed Mattison for that number two job. The loser of that competition would’ve given the Vikings a top tier third option and definitely made the Vikings’ stables of running backs the unquestioned best in the league.

Original Pick (249): Brian Cole – S (Mississippi State)

The Minnesota Vikings took a chance on Brian Cole with one of their last picks of the draft. The former wide receiver turned safety flamed out in camp and was cut long before the deadline loomed. He clearly didn’t have what it takes to be a Minnesota Vikings and apparently not an NFL player period, as no team bothered claiming him. This was a poor choice by Spielman.

Redraft: Kyle Hinton – G (Washburn)

The Vikings would’ve been better off just taking Hinton here. While he hasn’t done anything this season and may not, he still has loads of potential. This guy dominated his level of competition and while it was D-II, he was extremely physical and actually moved well for being so big.

He can sit and learn this season on the practice squad and come in and compete for a starting job in 2021 when he’s better acclimated to an NFL offense and his role in it.

Original Pick (253): Kyle Hinton – G (Washburn)

The Vikings snapped up this big man already in this re-draft, as they love his potential for next season and beyond.

Redraft: Tae Crowder – LB (Georgia)

Instead of taking Hinton, who is already gone here, the Minnesota Vikings add that linebacker piece they are missing, after having passed on Dye the second time around. Crowder was the last pick of the 2020 NFL Draft but has had some nice moments for the Giants this season.

He has two starts on the season and has 18 tackles. That is super impressive for a Mr. Irrelevant and his shining moment was when he returned a fumble for a 43-yard touchdown. This guy has shown a little something and clearly has a nose for the football. The Vikings have a need for this type of playmaker, and having him on the team could’ve slowed the linebacker carousel ride they went on earlier this year.