Do the Vikings Need to Add a Veteran Safety? 

Nov 14, 2021; Landover, Maryland, USA; Washington Football Team safety Landon Collins (26) celebrates while leaving the field after the game against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers at FedExField. Mandatory Credit: Geoff Burke-USA TODAY Sports

There has been a lot of conversation about the cornerback position during this offseason, whereas the other position in the secondary is overlooked. One question I believe needs answering is, do the Vikings need to add a veteran safety to the roster?

The Vikings restructured veteran All-Pro safety Harrison Smith’s contract, ensuring he will be on the team again this year. It seems that Camryn Bynum, a fourth-round rookie from 2021, is in line to have the second starting spot, which I endorse. Bynum was impressed in his rookie season when called upon. He played in 14 games, starting three of them. He impressed more than enough to be considered a viable starting option this season.

Give Camryn Bynum a Shot
Camryn Bynum

Yet, there’s not much oomph behind those two. All the Vikings would have at their disposal should one of Smith or Bynum succumb to injury would be Josh Metellus, a sixth-round pick back in 2020 who has been primarily used on special teams during his first two seasons. Plus, Myles Dorn, who went undrafted back in 2020 and hasn’t played a single snap on defense in his short career.

The Vikings need another safety on the roster.

The question is, where do they find one? Do the Vikings need to add a veteran safety to the roster to compete with Bynum for the starting role? Some players are still out there in free agency who could be that player.

Since this tweet, three of those have signed new deals — McLeod, Jackson, and Harrison. Do the Vikings want to use some of their remaining cap space on a veteran safety like Landon Collins or Jaquiski Tartt? Or would using a day-two draft pick on one of the top safety prospects be a better way to go?

This would be considered somebody who can not only challenge Bynum this season but also be the long-term successor to Harrison Smith. Two very different ways to go about it. Both have their own merits.

Personally, I only like the veteran idea if the Vikings can get a player on a cheap contract — similar to the $1.7 million contract the Vikings were able to sign Xavier Woods for last season. Otherwise, the draft is the far better option in my estimation.

It’s unlikely that Kyle Hamilton falls as far as the 12th pick. If he does, the Vikings should take him. He is probably the most likely generational talent in the draft. In the likely scenario that he doesn’t, then there are some other options.

Suppose the Vikings trade back from 12, which is a fair possibility. That next tier of safeties could be in play in the late first round or the second round, depending on what value they got for the 12th overall pick.

The second round would be the ideal place to find one, and if one of Lewis Cine, Daxton Hill, Jalen Pitre, or Jaquan Brisker is still on the board, anyone one of them would be a great pickup who would make the depth chart at safety for the Vikings look stronger.

To answer the question, do the Vikings need to add a veteran safety? It wouldn’t be a bad thing, but it is not completely necessary. The Vikings need to add a good player to the roster at the safety position. However, they can do that either by free agency or the draft. Both ways work.

K.J. Osborn and Chad Beebe

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