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 Stacy Revere/Getty Images) D.J. Wonnum – Minnesota Vikings /

D.J. Wonnum – DE (South Carolina)

2020 Stats:

  • 24 tackles (5 for a loss)
  • 3 sacks
  • 1 forced fumble
  • 1 pass breakup
  • 14 games played (2 starts)

The Vikings chose Andre Patterson’s “Pet Cat” with their first fourth-round choice. A few in the media had D.J. Wonnum ranked lower, but Patterson pounded the table for this kid and got him in the fourth. Wonnum played more this season than expected with the loss of Danielle Hunter. By season’s end, he arguably was the team’s best pass rusher but finished the season with only 3 sacks.

Wonnum did give Vikings fans the moment of the season when he sacked Aaron Rodgers to end the game at Lambeau, forcing him to fumble the ball forward and seal the Vikings victory. While a little more production out of Wonnum would’ve been nice to see, he does have a ton of potential for year two and beyond.

James Lynch – DT (Baylor)

2020 Stats:

  • 3 tackles (1 for a loss)
  • 1 sack
  • 9 games played

James Lynch was one of the more disappointing of the Vikings rookies. He was hardly used and was active for only nine games. He had one sack and three tackles in that span, and he couldn’t beat out Shamar Stephen or Jaleel Johnson for playing time. The Vikings still desperately need a three-technique defensive tackle, which Lynch is supposed to be. He’ll get a chance to compete for a starting job in 2021, though he’s a longshot at best.

Troy Dye – LB (Oregon)

2020 Stats:

  • 28 tackles
  • 2 pass breakups
  • 11 games played (5 starts)

Troy Dye is another player who was disappointing as a rookie. The undersized but athletic linebacker was only supposed to be a special teams ace as a rookie, but injuries thrust him into the starting lineup.

Dye wasn’t horrible or anything, he just didn’t make many plays. He managed just 28 tackles on the season and broke up two passes. He didn’t have a single tackle for a loss, sack, or interception. With Eric Wilson’s future with the team in doubt, Dye could be looked to take on a bigger role next year. He’ll have to take a big step from year one to two to make that happen.