The Vikings have selected Michigan State edge rusher Kenny Willekes with the 225th overall pick in the 2020 NFL Draft.
This could be a potential steal for Rick Spielman and the Vikings. Willekes is a 6'3", 264-pound defensive end who was extremely productive during his career with the Spartans. In 39 games over the past three years, Willekes had 23.5 sacks and 25.5 non-sack tackles for loss.
Willekes brings an appealing combination of strength and athleticism to the position. He did 32 bench press reps at the combine, ran a 4.87 40, and posted a solid 119-inch broad jump. He's a former walk-on who plays with a ton of effort and has a high football IQ.
The reason Willekes lasted until the seventh round is that he's a bit undersized and not particularly quick or explosive on tape. He doesn't have quick-twitch movement ability and may struggle to get past NFL linemen.
Willekes has heard the criticism, and reponded with a video that went somewhat viral with this video in late March.
One thing is for sure: Willekes will come in and work extremely hard as he fights for a roster spot. He already overcame the odds once by going from a walk-on to an NFL draft pick. Now he'll look to do it again.
Here's the updated list of drafted players and remaining selections for the Vikings.
Thursday, April 23rd
- Round 1, Pick 22 (via BUF): Justin Jefferson, WR, LSU
- Round 1, Pick 31 (via SF): Jeff Gladney, CB, TCU
Friday, April 24th
- Round 2, Pick 58: Ezra Cleveland, OT, Boise State
- Round 3, Pick 89: Cameron Dantzler, CB, Mississippi State
Saturday, April 25th
- Round 4, Pick 117 (via SF): DJ Wonnum, EDGE, South Carolina
- Round 4, Pick 130 (via NO): James Lynch, DT, Baylor
- Round 4, Pick 132: Troy Dye, LB, Oregon
- Round 5, Pick 169 (via NO): Harrison Hand, CB, Temple
- Round 5, Pick 176 (via SF): KJ Osborn, WR, Miami
- Round 6, Pick 203 (via NO): Blake Brandel, OT, Oregon State
- Round 6, Pick 205: Josh Metellus, S, Michigan
- Round 7, Pick 225 (via BAL): Kenny Willekes, EDGE, Michigan State
- Round 7, Pick 244 (via NO)
- Round 7, Pick 249 (compensatory)
- Round 7, Pick 253 (compensatory)
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