We knew going into the 2020 NFL Draft that the Minnesota Vikings had a pressing need at the cornerback position. After making one of the few trades in the first round, the Vikings started their rebuild at the position with the selection of Texas Christian standout Jeff Gladney.
What do the experts around the internet think of the Vikings’ selection? Well, it’s time to take a spin around the internet and find out what some of the experts think.
Pete Prisco, CBS Sports: “B” grade
It’s a need pick, no question about it. I like the player. There are some character concerns, that’s something they’ll have to address. Mike Zimmer loves to draft corners. This pick makes sense.
Vinnie Iyer, Sporting News: “A” grade
The Vikings needed to rebuild at cornerback after releasing Xavier Rhodes and not re-signing either Trae Waynes or Mackensie Alexander. Gladney (5-10, 191 pounds) is a good fir for Mike Zimmer’s defense because of his zone sensibility and inside-outside versatility. He is scrappy and aggressive in making plays on the ball, with a knack of being honed in on receivers’ routes.
Dan Kadar, SB Nation: “A” grade
This is a perfect fit for Mike Zimmer’s defense. Gladney is a nasty cornerback who will get physical with wide receivers. He’s aggressive coming up to play the run, and knows how to get off a block.
Eric Edholm, Yahoo! Sports: “B” grade
Gladney is a Mike Zimmer corner. The Vikings did a lot of work on the CB class and came away impressed with Gladney’s dog mentality – even if his size compromises his ability to combat taller receivers.
Walter Cherepinsky, Walter Football: “A” grade
The Vikings just broke the Chiefs’ heart. They did very well to move down and park themselves ahead of Kansas City to pick the player the Chiefs wanted. The Vikings are getting a talented player who would’ve gone higher if it wasn’t for some off-the-field and injury issues. This pick seems like a steal, as Minnesota is filling a big need and getting a skilled player.
Danny Kelly, The Ringer: “A” grade
Gladney is one of my favorite players in this class and fits an obvious need for the Vikings. The former Horned Frog has a wiry frame but plays with a ferocious demeanor, mixing quick feet and fluid hips in coverage. As a former high school receiver, he brings natural ball skills―both in finding the ball to swat it away or playing his receiver’s hands at the catch point―and recorded 45 contested targets over the past two seasons, most in college football. Gladney has the strength and speed to play on the outside and the change of direction and physicality to bump into the slot. He was my 22nd-ranked player in this class, so I love the value the Vikings get here at no. 31.
These grades seem to fall in line with what Vikings fans think of the selection of Gladney. I think there’s plenty of reason to be excited, and I’m looking forward to seeing Gladney making a contribution early on.