This is an extremely tough group to grade. The Vikings moved on from Xavier Rhodes, Trae Waynes, and Mackensie Alexander during the 2020 offseason to make way for a young group of defensive backs headlined by Holton Hill, Mike Hughes, and a lot of rookies or fresh faces.
Then, Minnesota cut Hill midway through the 2020 season and Hughes suffered another neck injury that makes his future seem like it could be up in the air. So the youngsters were forced to take the spotlight.
Luckily, the purple and gold seemed to hit the jackpot with Cameron Dantzler, who looks as though he could develop into a great corner in Minnesota for a number of years. Plus, first-round draft pick Jeff Gladney took some bumps, but he showed potential at times.
Harrison Hand made some flashy plays on defense and special teams while Chris Jones made some “business decisions” that made him seem like he wasn’t a team player at times.
More players filled in for the team, but the struggles in the defensive backfield continued for the Vikings no matter who was on the field which included players like Kris Boyd, Cordrea Tankersley, Mark Fields II, or whoever was elevated from the practice squad, poached from other teams, or signed off the streets.
Perspective needs to be put in place though. The absolute lack of a pass rush did no favors for the young corners as they attempted to adjust to Mike Zimmer’s defense. Considering the players available, the pass defense could have been a lot worse in 2020.
2020 Grade: C-