Reviewing the performance of the Vikings 2020 rookie class

(Photo by Stephen Maturen/Getty Images) Justin Jefferson
(Photo by Stephen Maturen/Getty Images) Justin Jefferson /
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Minnesota Vikings
(Photo by Leon Halip/Getty Images) Jeff Gladney – Minnesota Vikings /

Jeff Gladney – CB (TCU)

2020 Stats:

  • 81 tackles (7 for a loss)
  • 3 pass breakups
  • 1 forced fumble
  • 16 games played (15 starts)

Jeff Gladney was the Vikings‘ second first-round choice. After being chosen, the early thought was that he’d probably end up playing the nickel with Mike Hughes, and Holton Hill starting outside. Hughes suffered an injury early in the season, and Gladney soon saw himself as a starter.

His rookie season was full of growth, and with that growth came good moments and bad. His coverage was spotty at times, as he found himself out of position and allowed too much of a cushion to the man he was assigned to cover. He did, however, have moments where he looked outstanding and should have had a pick-six touchdown on his resume, but that was called back on a questionable P.I. call in a very questionably called game against the Bucs.

One thing that Gladney showed, and his 81 tackles support this, is that he’s a more than willing tackler. Gladney excels at coming up to the line of scrimmage to hit the ball carrier, and it doesn’t matter if that carrier has 50 pounds on him, he’ll lower his shoulder and deliver the blow.

Gladney should be much better in year two, with a full offseason at his disposal. The experienced he gained in 2020 will be huge for his development and he’ll head into 2021 as an unquestioned starter.