With the NFL season and playoffs now complete, NFL.com went back in time and re-graded the 2020 draft today. The Minnesota Vikings rank near the very top of their list.
In fact, the Vikings’ “A-“ grade ranks ahead of 29 NFL teams and falls behind just one, the Indianapolis Colts. The Bengals (who drafted Joey Burrow #1 overall) and Cleveland Browns also hold an A- grade, according to NFL.com.
Vikings 2020 Draft Board
Minnesota Vikings: A-
How impressive was Jefferson’s rookie campaign? Impressive enough to make the Vikings feel just fine about trading away Stefon Diggs and watching him immediately lead the league in catches and receiving yards. Yes, this was the elusive win-win trade. Diggs wasn’t happy in Minneapolis — the city where he produced a miracle — so Minnesota flipped him for a pick package that included No. 22 in last April’s draft.
In that slot, the Vikes took the fifth receiver in Round 1, Jefferson, who broke Anquan Boldin‘s rookie record with 1,400 receiving yards on the dot. And just last week, the tireless tape munchers over at Pro Football Focus — who apparently have a mischievous troll streak that this writer can’t help but appreciate — slapped Jefferson at No. 15 on their ranking of the top 101 players from 2020, exactly one spot ahead of Diggs. Mwah!
Minnesota’s second first-round pick didn’t work out nearly as well as the first. Gladney started 15 of 16 games for the Vikings, and while he flashed proficiency as a physical cover man in certain matchups, consistency was a major issue, as evidenced by his 124.7 passer rating against, per PFF. Fortunately, Minnesota doubled down on this position of extreme need and found a quality corner in the back half of the third round, as Dantzler proved that a bad 40-yard dash in Indy doesn’t define a man.
Though injuries limited him to 11 games, Dantzler earned a spot alongside Jefferson on the PFWA All-Rookie Team. The Vikings also got some quality production from this class in the trenches, with Cleveland capably starting nine games at right guard and Wonnum notching three sacks and nine QB hits as a rotational pass rusher. Rick Spielman had the most bites at the 2020 draft apple with an NFL-high 15 picks, though the vast majority of them occurred on Day 3. Still, he was able to net quality contributors in multiple areas of need.NFL.com
Rick Spielman deserves some love
I give Rick Spielman all sorts of grief for not drafting the two Gophers who went on to win Super Bowl rings as rookies, and for good reason. Imagine how much better this grade is if we replace KJ Osborn with Tyler Johnson and Jeff Gladney with Antoine Winfield Jr?
Still, it’s difficult to throw too much shade when the Minnesota Vikings 2020 draft still ranks higher than 95% of the NFL.
Rest of NFC North
Nobody else in the NFC North ranked above a B-, according to these hindsight-inspired draft re-grades. The Bears grabbed that B-. Detroit got a C- and the Green Bay Packers brought up the ass of the division, pulling in a barely-passing D+.
hate love to see it.
Eric Strack | Minnesota Sports Fan