New Vikings Assistant Coaches Have Connections to Several NFL Draft Prospects

Will Ragatz

The Vikings rounded out a busy offseason of changes to their coaching staff last week with the hires of defensive assistants Imarjaye Albury and Roy Anderson. The two join Dom Capers, Daronte Jones, and Phil Rauscher as new additions to the staff, while Gary Kubiak, Andre Patterson, Adam Zimmer, and Andrew Janocko have all seen their roles change heading into 2020.

Albury joins the Vikings as the assistant defensive line coach, taking over for Robert Rodriguez, who was hired by Arizona State recently. Albury spent the last two seasons working with the defensive line at the University of Arkansas as a graduate assistant. While at Arkansas, he worked closely with Armon Watts, a sixth-round pick of the Vikings in 2019 who has a chance to see an expanded role next season.

Anderson, the Vikings' new assistant defensive backs coach, is a veteran NFL DBs coach who has spent time with the Bears, Colts, and Ravens. He spent the 2019 season away from the NFL, serving as the lead defensive analyst for LSU's national championship team.

One interesting thing to note about these two new coaches is their connections to a number of NFL Draft prospects that could be fits for the Vikings at positions of need. One of the players Anderson coached last year under Ed Orgeron and Dave Aranda was cornerback Kristian Fulton, who could be under consideration for the corner-needy Vikings with the No. 25 pick in the draft if he falls that far. Fulton is a versatile, incredibly skilled cover corner with sky-high upside. Many mock drafts have him going in the first half of the first round, though some also have him falling into the second round. Fulton's most notable weakness as a prospect is his tackling.

If the Vikings don't re-sign Anthony Harris and look to select a safety early in the draft, LSU's Grant Delpit is another player who Anderson worked with last season. Delpit is one of the top safeties in the draft and could be a Vikings target in the first or second round.

One of the Vikings' biggest needs is defensive tackle, where both Linval Joseph and Shamar Stephen could be cut for cap relief this offseason. Watts will be among several returning players competing for playing time, but the Vikings would also presumably look to add talent to that room via the draft. LSU's Rashard Lawrence and Arkansas' McTelvin Agim (who had 9.5 sacks over the past two seasons while working with Arbury) could be options in the middle rounds of the draft.

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