With the NFL Scouting Combine concluding Sunday night, football fans have entered the one phase of the year they might actually like more than the games. That would be the offseason where every team has a level playing field and hope springs eternal to everything short of Tom Brady throwing on a Vikings jersey.
While some teams have ridiculous money to spend this offseason, the Vikings are not fortunate sitting at roughly $700,000 under the salary cap. With holes to fill (and other holes that may be created via trade or release), the Vikings' selection at No. 25 will be extremely important and a whiff could result in a considerable tailspin in 2020.
So who could the Vikings be looking at after the combine? Here are three players whom the mock drafters have tied to the Vikings in recent days.
OT Josh Jones
One of the more popular picks for the Vikings to select at No. 25 is Josh Jones. Going off the overall big board at The Draft Network, it would seem to be a massive reach considering the Houston product is ranked 54th, but he has enough potential to be worth the selection.
Standing at 6'5" and 311 pounds, Jones has the size needed to anchor the left side of the line. He also has the added bonus of being an athletic prospect that can move well and fit in the zone-blocking scheme that the Vikings will continue to run in 2020.
While Jones didn't put up astronomical numbers at the combine, he did place in the 85th percentile in the broad jump which shows his explosiveness out of his stance. If the Vikings don't plan on using Riley Reiff at left tackle (via cut or failure to restructure his $13.2 million cap number) or just want to move him to guard, Jones would make sense as a possible first-round pick.
CB C.J. Henderson
Not to be confused with E.J. Henderson, who was anchored the Vikings defense in the 2000s, C.J. Henderson is coming off a solid junior season at Florida and backed it up with a strong performance in Indianapolis.
Head Coach Mike Zimmer must've liked Henderson as soon as he stepped on the field as a 6'1", 204-pound outside corner, but he might've drooling once he witnessed Henderson run the 40-yard dash.
His 4.39-second 40-yard dash ranked in the 84th percentile among prospects at the combine. The speed goes along with superb coverage skills that saw him intercept four passes as a freshman and six overall in college. Zimmer might be running to the podium if he's still there when the Vikings are on the clock.
CB Jeff Gladney
While the Vikings absolutely need to bolster their offensive line, there are plenty of tackles in the draft that possess elite athleticism, so the safest money will be on them selecting a cornerback. That's why we bring our second corner in Gladney, who was a part of a strong TCU defense.
While he collected five interceptions while playing the majority of four seasons with the Horned Frogs, Gladney is also able to make plays on the ball, leading the nation with 14 pass deflections in 2019. He is also an adept tackler, which would come in handy if the Vikings decide to let Trae Waynes leave in free agency.
There are some concerns as Gladney's time in the three-cone drill ranked in the fourth percentile and his 40-yard dash time of 4.48 probably deserved a better fate than landing in the 58th percentile. But as a more complete cornerback, Gladney has the tools to make a quick impact, which is something the Vikings could need in 2020.