5 most disappointing Vikings players of the 2020 season

(Photo by Hannah Foslien/Getty Images) Dan Bailey
(Photo by Hannah Foslien/Getty Images) Dan Bailey /
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Minnesota Vikings
(Photo by Jayne Kamin-Oncea/Getty Images) Jaleel Johnson – Minnesota Vikings /

Jaleel Johnson – DT

Jaleel Johnson has been a guy who just hasn’t been able to put it all together on the field. He stood out early in his career in a few preseason games, but then he would disappear when the games actually began to count. He did emerge a bit in 2019, ending the season with 3.5 sacks and 29 tackles. It was assumed that with 2020 being a contract season for him, he’d build off that strong finish and play to the potential that made him a fourth-round choice.

Johnson couldn’t fulfill those hopes. He started all 16 games with his role being the disrupting three-technique defensive tackle. Johnson was supposed to provide interior pressure, collapsing opponents’ pockets and throwing off the timing of the offense. He failed miserably in that role and he couldn’t stop the run either, as the Vikings’ defense completely fell apart the last quarter of the season.

Johnson was looking to make some money this season with his play, and while his 44 tackles were a career-best, the lack of interior pressure and the paltry 1.5 sacks on the year doesn’t scream huge payday.  The fact that Johnson was playing next to Shamar Stephen didn’t help. He was pushed around and was a major step down from Michael Pierce, who was supposed to be his linemate this season.

Johnson should find a suitor in free agency, but his disappointing 2020 season will definitely take a bite out of the paycheck he’ll be offered.