Cornerbacks the Vikings Could Draft in the First Round

Will Ragatz

The Vikings have three clear needs to address during the NFL Draft in April: offensive line, interior defensive line, and cornerback. Other, less pressing needs include wide receiver and safety, but even when considering their tendency to take the best player available, it would be fairly shocking if the team's first-round pick (No. 25 overall) wasn't an OL, DL, or CB.

There are a couple factors that might suggest the Vikings will be inclined to take a cornerback. One is the uncertainty the team is facing at the position. The rapidly declining Xavier Rhodes could be a cap casualty for a team that desperately needs to clear up some financial flexibility. And with Trae Waynes and Mackensie Alexander unrestricted free agents, the Vikings could potentially lose three starting corners this offseason.

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The second factor to consider is that Mike Zimmer loves cornerbacks. He began his coaching career as a DBs coach, and has said on many occasions that a defense can't have too many corners. The Vikings took Mike Hughes late in the first round two years ago, and drafted Waynes 11th overall back in 2015. Including the second-round selection of Alexander in 2016, the Vikings have taken a corner in the first two rounds in three of six drafts during the Zimmer era.

One argument against taking a corner with the 25th pick is that the 2020 draft is stacked at the position. There are believed to be more first-round talents at corner than there are at offensive or defensive line, so the Vikings could theoretically stand to wait and still get an NFL-ready corner on Day 2.

But if there starts to be an early run on corners, and the Vikings have several they view as significantly better prospects than the rest of the class, they might not be able to resist snatching one up in the first round. The only corner the Vikings seem to have no shot at is Ohio State's Jeff Okudah, who is widely expected to go in the top ten, if not the top five. After that, it all depends on how the first round plays out.

Watch the video at the top of this page to learn about five corners the Vikings could take with their first draft pick.

Covered in the video:

  • CJ Henderson, Florida
  • Trevon Diggs, Alabama
  • Kristian Fulton, LSU
  • Jeff Gladney, TCU
  • Jaylon Johnson, Utah

Other potential early-round corners:

  • Bryce Hall, Virginia
  • AJ Terrell, Clemson
  • Cameron Dantzler, Mississippi State
  • Troy Pride Jr., Notre Dame
  • Darnay Holmes, UCLA
  • Damon Arnette, Ohio State