The Vikings Stick with the Bulldog Defensive Theme

Georgia defensive back Lewis Cine. News Joshua L Jones

What a scene from night one at the NFL Draft. We saw some monster trades for wide receivers and the teams moving all over the draft board. The Vikings, as expected, were players in the draft-day trade market.

The Vikings stick with the Bulldog defensive theme in the first round. They would eventually select Lewis Cine, safety out of Georgia. This is one of those picks very few people saw coming, but you should be excited about it. More importantly, you should be happy with the way they go there.

This year’s first round was probably one of the more electrifying in terms of trades. However, the fun didn’t start until pick 11 as the top 10 teams stayed put. Unfortunately, for we Vikings fans, this meant that Stingley Jr. and Sauce Gardner were off the board.

Jan 10, 2022; Indianapolis, IN, USA; Georgia Bulldogs defensive back Lewis Cine. Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

However, we had a feeling that this was going to happen. We watched the betting markets change rapidly over the last few days, which inevitably led to the Vikings needing to make a decision. Do they stay put or select at 12 overall?

They would eventually decide to trade to the Lions. Many fans are conflicted, myself included. However, PFF and OvertheCap both have this trade as a win for the Vikings. We shall see how this plays out going forward.

We will discuss all the players the Vikings missed out on in a different article. For now, let’s take a look at Lewis Cine.

Lewis Cine is a (Bull)DOG

Lewis Cine was a late draft riser. Some of the latest mock drafts had him going in the mid to late 20 picks. This was for good reason too. This guy is a missile! At 6’2″ and 200 pounds, he runs around at sub 4.4 speed and lights people up. Here is a clip of him destroying Kyle Pitts (illegally, though).

This is exactly why experts like Chris Simms love him so much. Cine can cover a ton of ground in coverage but will also come up in run support. This is the exact kind of player the Vikings defense needed.

Moreover, the Vikings themselves love this guy. Kevin O’Connell specifically likes his versatility. Sure, they already have Cam Bynum, but is there a bad thing about having good players at the same position?

When watching Cine’s tape, all you ever see is him bolting in to make a big hit on a defender in a flat — or tracking the ball well and making a play on it at the high point. This kid is good at the game of football. Not to mention, safety was a sneaky need for the Vikings.

With how versatile Lewis Cine and Harrison Smith are, the Vikings have many options. Don’t be surprised to see all three safeties on the field at once. The Vikings are just getting started here, but I love the direction we are heading.

There is a lot of draft left for the Vikings. Tune in tomorrow night to watch some more epic trades. Maybe the Vikings will be part of that too.


Mitch Massman is a life-long Vikings fan. His first heartbreak was the 1998 NFC championship game. His full-time job is as an economic development professional in rural Minnesota. He fantasizes about the Vikings winning a Super Bowl one day, but until then he will write about the Vikings. Follow him on Twitter @skol_vikings3