5 players the Vikings could’ve drafted instead of Jeff Gladney

(Photo by Stephen Maturen/Getty Images) Jeremy Chinn
(Photo by Stephen Maturen/Getty Images) Jeremy Chinn /
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Minnesota Vikings
(Photo by Junfu Han via Imagn Content Services) Jaylon Johnson /

Jaylon Johnson – CB

The Vikings were hell-bent on selecting a cornerback with one of their first-round picks in the 2020 NFL Draft. A lot of mocks had Minnesota selecting this big-bodied cornerback out of Utah in the first round and now it appears that would’ve been the better decision.

Johnson wasn’t great for the Chicago Bears in 2020, but he flashed enough to give the team hope that he can develop into a solid player.

He ended up starting 13 games last season and he finished with 15 pass breakups and 44 tackles (one for a loss). He has the size Mike Zimmer loves, though his overall speed is a bit questionable.

The Vikings will see Johnson twice a year for at least the next few seasons so they’ll become quite familiar with the type of player he will develop into. If he continues to build off his debut season, he could be a thorn in the sides of the purple and gold for years.

But even if he only plays one more year, he’ll easily become a much better value and choice than Jeff Gladney turned out to be for Minnesota.