The Vikings Drafted Somebody’s ‘Man Crush’

The Vikings Drafted Somebody's 'Man Crush'
Oct 2, 2021; Athens, Georgia, USA; Georgia Bulldogs defensive back Lewis Cine. Mandatory Credit: Dale Zanine-USA TODAY Sports

First, the Minnesota Vikings made splashy and controversial headlines by trading the 12th and 46th overall picks to the Detroit Lions on draft night in exchange for the 32nd, 34th, and 77th picks.

Then, they drafted Lewis Cine, a safety from the University of Georgia.

On the whole, Vikings faithful enjoyed the selection of Cine while bemoaning the trade haul. Minnesota could’ve acquired more from Detroit, at least according to previous likeminded trades. Alas, they did not.

Cine (pronounced seen) is a versatile and violent football player, tapped by Minnesota to start immediately and eventually take over for Harrison Smith. He’s a machine that hits hard and runs like lightning (4.37 speed).

In fact, former quarterback and current NFL analyst Chris Simms called Cine his “man crush.”

And, not for nothing, Simms is the same pundit who forecasts quarterbacks in the draft with astounding accuracy. He’s rarely wrong in the pre-draft space.

In 31 games at Georgia, Cine tallied 144 tackles, 14 passes defended, 3.5 tackles for loss, and two interceptions. The Draft Network called Cine a “good athlete with good straight-line speed, agility, and range of motion” and a “violent, physical hitter.”

Dec 31, 2021; Miami Gardens, FL, USA; Michigan Wolverines tight end Erick All (83) is brought down by Georgia Bulldogs defensive back Lewis Cine (16). Mandatory Credit: Jasen Vinlove-USA TODAY Sports.

The Vikings had an unmistakable path to draft Kyle Hamilton, considered the best safety in the draft and a Top 3 prospect overall. But Kwesi Adofo-Mensah decided otherwise, trading down with Detroit, stockpiling Day Two draft picks, and choosing a different safety.

Whether it was Hamilton or Cine, safety was a positional need for the Vikings. During free agency, the safety spot was the one position on the defensive depth chart in which Minnesota did nothing. That led onlookers to believe second-year defense Camryn Bynum was the heir apparent for Xavier Woods, last year’s starter, but Cine changed the forecast.

In theory, Cine should start in September unless Bynum somehow supplants him on the depth chart. Moreover, the safety position is not classified as a “premium” spot by modern NFL standards, so the Vikings choosing one in the 1st-Round raised eyebrows.

Regardless, when credible NFL analysts define rookies as man crushes, the drafting team is doing something right.

Former free safety Ryan Clark also endorsed the pick.

So did Jordan Reid from ESPN.

The Vikings are scheduled to make three additional picks on Friday night.

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).