Blake Lynch – LB (Baylor)
- 12 tackles
- 1 pass breakup
- 4 games played (1 start)
The Vikings signed a handful of players after the 2020 NFL Draft concluded and one of them was this linebacker out of Baylor, Blake Lynch. Not much was expected from this signing because, when he was brought on to the team, the Vikings’ linebacking corps was one of their deepest units. They were set at all three starting positions with decent depth backing them up. It was hard-pressed to see fourth-round linebacker Troy Dye getting much playing time, let alone an undrafted rookie.
Injuries to the starters and then to the backups and then to the backups of the backups forced Lynch on the field late in the season. In his one start, he fared pretty well, racking up 10 total tackles against the Saints. Lynch isn’t going to contend for starting time next season, but he is a guy who could prove worth keeping around for special teams and inserting in the lineup in a pinch.
Dan Chisena – WR (Penn State)
- 6 tackles
- 1 fumble recovery
Dan Chisena was the biggest surprise on cut day. The former walk-on at Penn State was facing similar odds of making the Vikings in 2020. His speed and special teams’ prowess were enough for the team to keep him over a more polished and experienced receiver like Alexander Hollins.
Chisena had a bit of an up and down season playing on the Vikings’ maligned special teams unit. He routinely overshot the return man, having to use his blazing speed to chase him down after they picked up about twenty yards. Chisena did finish with 6 tackles on the season and a fumble recovery, but after seeing how bad the Vikings’ special teams were this season, perhaps the team would’ve been better off just keeping Hollins instead.
The Minnesota Vikings got a ton of production out of their 2020 draft class. They landed a star with their first pick Justin Jefferson. He should be the NFL’s Offensive Rookie of the Year and will be the team’s number one target next season and beyond.
They also landed their starting corners of the future in Jeff Gladney and Cameron Dantzler. Ezra Cleveland will be a fixture on their offensive line. The question is whether or not he’ll be playing guard or left tackle in the future.
After the way this year has gone, it's now clear we can label some of the Minnesota Vikings recent draft selections as busts.
The Minnesota Vikings also landed key role players like D.J. Wonnum, Troy Dye, and Harrison Hand. Rick Spielman needs to be given a ton of credit for the choices he made in this draft, and while he didn’t address every single need, he brought it more talent in this one class than some teams do in three drafts.