Despite its most prominent member getting jobbed out of a deserved Offensive Rookie of the Year Award, the 2020 draft class for the Minnesota Vikings still gave everyone plenty to be excited about, and the folks over at the league’s official website have taken notice.
Over at NFL.com, they’ve gone through all of the rookie classes and assigned grades, with the purple coming out with a solid A-. That’s by far the best in the NFC North and, obviously, one of the best in the league.
While wide receiver Justin Jefferson gets a great deal of praise for obvious reasons, Gennaro Filice has some nice words for other members of the Vikings’ class of 2020. Among them are cornerback Cameron Dantzler, who wound up making the Pro Football Focus All-Rookie team for this season despite being limited to 14 games by injuries, along with offensive lineman Ezra Cleveland and defensive end D.J. Wonnum.
The rest of the NFC North didn’t fare as well. The Chicago Bears were given the second-highest grade in the division for their rookie class, coming in with a B-. The Detroit Lions got themselves a C-, while the Green Bay Packers ended up with a D+.
The folks at NFL.com have gone through six of the eight divisions thus far, and of the teams they’ve looked at the only team that has graded out higher than the Vikings is the Indianapolis Colts, who got an A for how they drafted this past season. The Cleveland Browns and Cincinnati Bengals each received the same A- mark that the Vikings got.
Filice’s article points out that Rick Spielman had more bites at the proverbial apple than any GM in the league last year, drafting 15 players. With an anticipated 12 picks already in hand for 2021 and a team that’s going to have to do some gymnastics with the salary cap, it would behoove the purple to come out of this April’s draft with the same sort of success that they had this past season.