The Duel

3 First-Round Picks the Vikings Should Target in the 2020 NFL Draft

Colton Dodgson
Xavier McKinney has been a star in the Alabama secondary this season.
Xavier McKinney has been a star in the Alabama secondary this season. / Jonathan Bachman/Getty Images
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The Minnesota Vikings have enjoyed a bounce-back season this year. Barring anything extreme, Mike Zimmer's squad is primed for a return to the postseason, clinching its second berth in the last three seasons. Still, like any other franchise, they aren't without flaws.

Teams have been able to throw on the Vikings rather easily this season. They rank 20th in passing yardage allowed with 239.9 per game.

Naturally, it's looking like the 2020 NFL Draft class is going to have a wealth of options when it comes to defensive backs, should the Vikings look to upgrade their secondary in the first round.

Here are a few players who could be potential fits for Minnesota, within range of its projected first-round pick.

1. Jeff Gladney, CB, TCU

Jeff Gladney played in all of his four season at TCU
Jeff Gladney played in all of his four season at TCU / Christian Petersen/Getty Images

The Big 12 started to subtly kick the "no defense" stigma this season that has plagued the conference in the past. Not to mention, very few corner prospects have seen more high-powered offenses than those coming from the Big 12. Enter Jeff Gladney. The senior played in each of his four seasons at TCU, compiling 38 passes defended and five interceptions. Practicing against the electrifying Jalen Reagor is a pretty good way to prepare for the NFC North, too.

2. Xavier McKinney, S, Alabama

Xavier McKinney lines up on defense against Mississippi.
Xavier McKinney lines up on defense against Mississippi. / Jonathan Bachman/Getty Images

If the Vikings elect to go safety, pairing the right prospect with Harrison Smith could go a long way to mitigate any weak links. McKinney is a versatile prospect that can move around the field and make plays from anywhere. Chunk plays would come at a premium against a projected duo of McKinney and Smith. Over the last two seasons, McKinney has totaled 100 combined tackles to go along with five interceptions, 15 passes defended and two touchdowns. Someone with playmaking ability like that could flourish as a part of a Vikings' defense that has been filled with talented playmakers in the recent past.

3. Cameron Dantzler, CB, Mississippi State

Cameron Dantzler finished the season with two interceptions and eight passes defended
Cameron Dantzler finished the season with two interceptions and eight passes defended / Jonathan Bachman/Getty Images

Devante Adams, Kenny Golladay and Allen Robinson. It's imperative the Vikings find a corner prospect that can slow the elite wide receivers that reside in the NFC North. Who better than a 6-foot-2-inch corner with an SEC pedigree? Cameron Dantzler was a bright-spot for the 6-6 Mississippi State Bulldogs this season, finishing with 40 total tackles and eight passes defended. If the Vikings are interested in upgrading their cornerback room, there aren't many options in their range who are more tested than Dantzler. Although, the room seems to be split on the SEC product, with some projections having him as high as the late first round, and others pinning him as a mid-late second rounder.


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