5 late-round picks from 2020 that could impact the Vikings in 2021

(Photo by Brad Rempel-USA TODAY Sports) Blake Lynch
(Photo by Brad Rempel-USA TODAY Sports) Blake Lynch /
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Minnesota Vikings
(Photo by Hannah Foslien/Getty Images) Blake Lynch /

Blake Lynch – LB

Blake Lynch was a surprise a year ago. He joined the Vikings as an undrafted free-agent rookie and he was signed to the practice squad before the start of the regular season.

After Minnesota’s linebacking corps was decimated by injuries, Lynch was called up to the active roster. He was active for four games and he even started one. He played well in his limited time, accumulating 12 tackles and a pass breakup.

During his lone start in the Vikings’ blowout loss to the New Orleans Saints last season, Lynch was a bright spot on a dark day for the purple and gold defense, as he racked up a total of 10 tackles.

Against the Saints, he showed he is capable of making plays and he can cover a lot of ground. This performance had to give Minnesota some hope for his future and it is why he’s on this list as a late-round player from 2020 who could have an impact on the team next season.

Lynch has a shot to earn a spot on the team’s linebacking depth chart this year. He will compete to be the team’s sixth linebacker, assuming they keep that many. His major competition will be in the form of Ryan Connelly, Troy Dye, and Nick Vigil, and while it’ll be tough, this is certainly a mountain he can top.

If Lynch does make the team, he’ll probably be used primarily on special teams unless Minnesota’s top linebackers are stricken with injuries again. The Vikings know Lynch can play in this league, and with a full offseason under his belt, he could be a surprise and unseat a player many might deem to be a lock to make the roster.