2020 NFL Draft: Minnesota Vikings team needs, draft picks, prospects to watch

After serving one of the more unexpected upsets in the NFL Wild Card round, the Minnesota Vikings' season ended at the hands of the San Francisco 49ers in the Divisional Round. There were rumors entering the postseason that Minnesota might still consider parting ways with head coach Mike Zimmer. Those beliefs were shut down quickly with the team's win over the New Orleans Saints in the Wild Card round. Big changes have already taken place this offseason, however. Offensive coordinator Kevin Stefanski is moving on to become head coach of the Cleveland Browns and Minnesota will go back to the drawing board on the offensive side of the ball. Defensive coordinator George Edwards is not expected to return either

If the Vikings wish to make a run at the Super Bowl in 2021, they will need to improve their roster in a few key areas. Here's what you need to know about the Vikings and the 2020 NFL Draft.

2020 draft picks

  • Round 1: Minnesota
  • Round 2: Minnesota
  • Round 3: Minnesota
  • Round 4: Minnesota
  • Round 5: None
  • Round 6: Minnesota
  • Round 7: Miami, Minnesota

The Vikings parted with a fifth-round pick to the Baltimore Ravens for kicker Kaare Vedvik in the offseason. Minnesota traded offensive lineman Danny Isidora to the Dolphins in exchange for a seventh-round pick. It is unclear if the pick received belonged to Miami or the Kansas City Chiefs, who had previously completed a deal with the Dolphins. That should be confirmed in the coming weeks.

Biggest offseason needs

  • Cornerback
  • Offensive tackle
  • Defensive line
  • Interior offensive line
  • Safety
  • Wide receiver
  • Linebacker
  • Quarterback

Xavier Rhodes really struggled in the Divisional Round against San Francisco. Trae Waynes, Mackensie Alexander, and Marcus Sherels are all scheduled to hit free agency at the cornerback position as well. Those, as well as "box" safety, are the two positions expected to hit the team hardest in free agency. Minnesota needs to get stronger near the line of scrimmage. The 49ers dominated in the trenches and that ultimately keyed their victory. Defensive tackle, linebacker and the offensive line need to improve. 

Prospects to watch

Neville Gallimore, DT, Florida State

The Ontario native has played like a man possessed this season. His play is relentless. Gallimore is strong, fast and shows tremendous balance for his size. He is incredibly fast off the snap and has multiple methods of getting to the quarterback beyond the standard bull rush technique. If there is one concern about Gallimore, it is that he gets too worked up sometimes, which leads him out of his gap responsibility and that leads to a big gain for the other team. The Sooner is an ideal pick for the Vikings at the end of Round 1 if available. He can step in immediately and start for either Linval Joseph or Shamar Stephen. 

Ezra Cleveland, OT, Boise State

Cleveland is a really athletic lineman but he needs to get stronger. There are a few technical corrections to make. He plays a bit high at times which gives away his leverage. His upside is really high though. The Vikings should be comfortable taking him late in the second round if he lasts that long. Cleveland played left tackle for the Broncos but has the capability to play the other side as well.

Sean Pollard, OG, Clemson

Pollard has a lot of positional flexibility because he has been asked to fill a lot of roles for the Tigers. He has looked much more comfortable inside this season. Although he has primarily played center, he could play offensive guard or Minnesota could move Garrett Bradbury, who struggled in Year 1. Pollard has a lot of upside because he has not played the same position consistently. The North Carolina native is a solid option to fortify the offensive line in Round 3. 

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