Vikings wrap up 2020 NFL draft with four seventh-round selections
After selecting four players in the seventh round — a defensive end, quarterback, safety and guard — the Minnesota Vikings are exiting the draft with an NFL-record 15-player class.
The league’s previous record for picks in a seven-round draft was 14, set by Miami (1997) and Cleveland (2017).
Minnesota made a splash in the final round by taking Iowa quarterback Nate Stanley at No. 244 overall.
Stanley played 44 games for Iowa from 2016-19 and logged 8,297 passing yards, 68 touchdowns and 23 interceptions. In 2019, the quarterback threw for a career-high 2,951 yards, 16 touchdowns and seven interceptions while completing 59.4% of his pass attempts. He was named an All-Big Ten honorable mention pick for his efforts as a senior.
At No. 225 overall, Minnesota selected Michigan State defensive end Kenny Willekes.
A walk-on with the Spartans, Willekes found his way on the field as a sophomore in 2017 and led the team with 14.5 tackles for loss and seven sacks.
He was named the Big Ten Defensive Lineman of the Year by coaches in 2018 after compiling 20.5 tackles for loss and 8.5 sacks. When an injury in the bowl game prevented Willekes from entering the 2019 draft, he returned for his senior season and racked up another 16 TFL and 10.5 sacks for the Spartans.
The Vikings used the 249th overall pick to select Mississippi State safety Brian Cole II, who played a hybrid safety/linebacker role in 2019 and racked up 67 tackles (7.5 for loss), two sacks and one interception. Cole II was the second Mississippi State product selected by Minnesota in 2020, joining collegiate teammate Cameron Dantzler (third round; 89th overall).
And finally, Minnesota concluded its busy 2020 draft at No. 253 overall by taking a flyer on Kyle Hinton, an offensive guard for Washburn (DII).
2020 Minnesota Vikings draft picks
|Justin Jefferson, WR, LSU||1||22|
|Jeff Gladney, CB, TCU||1||31|
|Ezra Cleveland, OT, Boise State||2||58|
|Cameron Dantzler, CB, Mississippi State||3||89|
|D.J. Wonnum, EDGE, South Carolina||4||117|
|James Lynch, DE, Baylor||4||130|
|Troy Dye, LB, Oregon||4||132|
|Harrison Hand, CB, Temple||5||169|
|K.J. Osborn, WR, Miami||5||176|
|Blake Brandel, OG, Oregon State||6||203|
|Josh Metellus, S, Michigan||6||205|
|Kenny Willekes, DE, Michigan State||7||225|
|Nate Stanley, QB, Iowa||7||244|
|Brian Cole II, S, Mississippi State||7||249|
|Kyle Hinton, OG, Washburn (DII)||7||253|