5 Vikings players who are the cornerstones to future success

(Brace Hemmelgarn-USA TODAY Sports) Danielle Hunter
(Brace Hemmelgarn-USA TODAY Sports) Danielle Hunter /
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Minnesota Vikings
(Photo by Adam Bettcher/Getty Images) Jeff Gladney /

Jeff Gladney – CB

Jeff Gladney went through his fair share of struggles adjusting to life in the NFL. This was completely expected from a cornerback who didn’t have much in the way of veteran leadership to lean on during his period of transition.

However, what the Minnesota Vikings have gotten from Gladney in recent weeks has been far more positive. The 2020 first-round pick has come of age since the bye and really helped the organization turn things around en route to a possible surprise playoff berth at the end of the campaign.

Growing pains come with the territory when it comes to rookie corners. One only has to look at the baptism of fire No. 3 overall selection Jeff Okudah is currently going through with the Lions to see that. But it’s hard to look at Glandey’s gradual progression and not be encouraged.

The Vikings made a bold move to get rid of Trae Waynes, Xavier Rhodes, and Mackensie Alexander during free agency. Couple this with the lack of production from Mike Hughes and Holton Hill before both went to the reserve/injured list and the unit had the potential to become a real weak link.

Thankfully, this doesn’t appear to be the case and Gladney deserves a tremendous amount of credit for that.