Wide Left: Blair Anderson's 2020 NFL Draft grades for the Vikings

They come with a whole lot of Grain Belt.
Publish date:

Wide Left is a Vikings blog written by superfan Blair Anderson, who somehow convinced Bring Me The News to give him a platform to express his emotions. Here we go again... 

The NFL Draft has come and gone and with that comes an absurd amount of draft grade articles. If you're a fan of the Minnesota Vikings, you're probably pretty happy that national analysts are hovering around a perfect 4.0 with Rick Spielman's draft. 

If you like the Packers, you're probably wondering if Brian Gutenkunst has the same Wonderlic test score as Rashan Gary.

But as for the Vikings, they did really well! But they haven't been under the microscope of my draft grades. See, I don't do the normal A-to-F scale because most of my college education played out like the opening scene of Tommy Boy.

However, one thing I learned a lot about in college was Grain Belt. So how much Grain Belt did Rick Spielman's draft class accumulate? Let's find out.

Round 1 (No. 22 overall): WR Justin Jefferson, LSU

Jefferson is a freak with a 4.43-second 40-yard dash, but his bonkers production last year came with 98 percent of his yardage from the slot. Adam Thielen plays that position and if the Vikings bounce Jefferson to the outside, they'll risk a repeat of the 2018 season, where he recorded 875 yards and six touchdowns on the boundary.

That's not bad and there's a chance those numbers came because his quarterback was Joe Burrow instead of JOE BURROW. The LSU offense was also creative in getting him open which...I don't know about this Vikings staff.

Grade: A 12 pack of Grain Belt Premium (cans)

Round 1 (No. 31 overall): CB Jeff Gladney, TCU

So I didn't like this pick on draft night either, but I figured it out. I feel like the Vikings want to do something different to get over the hump, but they keep doing the same thing over and over again while expecting a different result.

Gladney is a smaller corner at 5-foot-10 and 191 pounds, but he's tougher than public restroom toilet paper. His 4.48-second time in the 40-yard dash came on a torn meniscus and if that's not a Zimmer guy, I don't know what is.

Gladney should become an instant starter in this secondary, but he'll need to pass Zimmer's "How I made Deion Sanders 101" course quickly in the virtual offseason.

Grade: A 12 pack of Grain Belt Premium (Bottles)

Round 2 (No. 58 overall): OT Ezra Cleveland, Boise State

Much of the Vikings' weekend was spent being obsessed with Trent Williams, but once he decided Minnesota was too cold, he went off to San Francisco and the Vikings adapted beautifully.

Cleveland was a riser as the draft process went along. While many expected him to be a first-round pick, he fell all the way to No. 58 and the Vikings scooped him up. 

Much like Brian O'Neill, Cleveland might be a project coming into the league, but he's already bigger and stronger than O'Neill was coming out of Pittsburgh. If Riley Reiff still sees ghosts of Jerry Hughes or they want to throw him in the guard battle royal, Cleveland should lock down the left tackle spot soon.

Grade: A keg of Grain Belt Premium

Round 3 (No. 89 overall): CB Cameron Dantzler, Mississippi State

If you want to know about Dantzler, don't go look at his MockDraftable profile because it's bad and misleading. Dantzler ran a 4.64-second 40-yard dash at the NFL Scouting Combine but ran it back with a 4.38 at his pro day.

Then there's his game against J'Marr Chase, where he locked down a potential top-10 pick in next year's NFL Draft. It's fitting this dude is called "The needle," because he's going to give a defensive back junkie like Zimmer his fix.

Grade: A Six-Pack of Grain Belt Premium

Round 4 (No. 117 Overall): DE D.J. Wonnum, South Carolina

Wonnum's MockDraftable chart is something we usually see when co-defensive coordinator Andre Patterson wants to draft a guy. That's exactly what happened here. A raw toolbox and some freakish athleticism doesn't automatically make you Danielle Hunter, but if he can replace Stephen Weatherly and play multiple positions, I'm cool with it.

Grade: A cold Grain Belt on a warm, summer day

Round 4 (No. 130 overall): DT James Lynch, Baylor

Last year, the Vikings had Shamar Stephen at three-tech and he stood there to let the rest of the defense do their job. This year, they could have Lynch, who racked up 13.5 sacks for Baylor last season. Stephen will probably start, but Lynch could actually provide some fear in the middle of the defense.

Grade: A couple of Grain Belts while ice fishing

Round 4 (No. 132 overall): LB Troy Dye, Oregon

Dye is the first player in Oregon history to lead the Ducks in tackles all four years. He'll fit nicely as a versatile backup. Quack, quack, quack, Mr. Ducksworth.

Grade: A Grain Belt at the bar

Round 5 (169th overall): CB Harrison Hand, Temple

There's some whispers the Vikings could move Hand to safety. Zimmer probably saw "cornerback" though and screamed "SIGN ME UP!"

Grade: Grain Belt Blu (Sounds rough, but might be surprising)

Round 5 (176th overall): WR K.J. Osborn, Miami (the good one)

Osborn can get open deep but was better in the slot when he played at Buffalo. He has value as a punt returner and after two muffed punts in the playoffs, sure.

Grade: A Grain Belt (you call it)

Round 6 (203rd overall): OT Blake Brandell, Oregon State

I've looked all over for stuff on Brandell but saw he's a four-year starter with the Beavers. I'm willing to give it a shot.

Grade: Grain Belt from a mystery bucket

Round 6 (205th overall): S Josh Metellus, Michigan

The Vikings needed a safety behind Anthony Harris and Harrison Smith. Also, his Twitter handle is @NoExcuses_23, so we won't see him limping around if he gets beat.

Grade: This article is starting to get over served.

Round 7 (225th overall): DE Kenny Willekes, Michigan State

Draftniks said Willekes wasn't a high-level athlete, so he put out something shy of a parkour video. If he barrel rolls over David Bakhtiari and does a double-backflip onto Aaron Rodgers, he'll be my hero.

Grade: Why did Rick trade down so much?

Round 7 (244th overall): QB Nate Stanley, Iowa

Well, he beat the Gophers.

Grade: Seriously, Rick.

Round 7 (249th overall) S Brian Cole, Mississippi State

Great so I can yell "BRIAN COLE, BAY BAY!!!" at games.


Round 7 (253rd overall) OG Kyle Hinton, Washburn College

Yes, Viking fans. He can play guard.

Grade: Enough Grain Belt to serve a fraternity house

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