Keep an Eye on Smoke Monday for Vikings

Keep an Eye on Smoke Monday for Vikings
Smoke Monday

Yes, there is an NFL draft prospect named Smoke Monday. And onlookers of the Minnesota Vikings should keep an eye (nose?) on Smoke, a safety, during the 2022 NFL Draft.

Named at birth Quindarious Monday, Smoke earned the nickname because he reportedly jetted around the house at a young age, causing his family to assign the moniker Smoke. And it stuck.

Some 20 years later, Smoke Monday is all over the later rounds of 2022 mock drafts.

Dec 28, 2021; Birmingham, Alabama, USA; Auburn Tigers safety Smoke Monday. Mandatory Credit: Marvin Gentry-USA TODAY Sports

Smoke won’t smolder off the draft board in early rounds, as the Auburn University alumnus is projected as a 5th-Round-or-so prospect. But the Vikings will be in the market for a later-round safety, presumably to fit in the depth chart with Harrison Smith, Camryn Bynum, Josh Metellus, and Myles Dorn.

Of course, his name stands out, and that alone will draw attention of fans. It’s a catchy name, for God’s sake — almost as intriguing as wide receiver prospect Charleston Rambo from the University of Miami.

But there is more to Smoke than mere fumes. While Monday isn’t a pass-coverage savant — he gets burned by speedy receivers, according to scouting reports — the rest of his game is rather fruitful.

Bleacher Report said about Monday’s game, the man is “a physical player who uses strength and aggression in the run game — takes on and fights through blocks — strong tackler who delivers a blow on contact.”

Auburn Tigers safety Smoke Monday. Iron Bowl at Jordan-Hare Stadium in Auburn, Ala., on Saturday, Nov. 27, 2021.

Among Monday’s top traits is big-play ability. As a two-year starter at Auburn, he was accountable for three pick-6s — one in each season starting in 2019. So, the game-changing-play acumen is consistent.

Moreover, in the 5th and 6th Rounds, the Vikings have four picks, a parting gift from Rick Spielman, who used to trade late-round draft capitals like Wall Street stocks. If the Vikings haven’t found a depth safety in Rounds 2 or 3, exploring Smoke in Minnesota adds up.

Monday was a teammate of Darius Slayton (Giants) and Derrick Brown (Panthers) at Auburn.

Dustin Baker is a political scientist who graduated from the University of Minnesota in 2007. Subscribe to his daily YouTube Channel, VikesNow. He hosts a podcast with Bryant McKinnie, which airs every Wednesday with Raun Sawh and Sally from Minneapolis. His Viking fandom dates back to 1996. Listed guilty pleasures: Peanut Butter Ice Cream, ‘The Sopranos,’ and The Doors (the band).