Bleacher Report Says ‘Defense’ for Vikings in post-Super Bowl Mock Draft

NFC Rivals Could Play Spoiler to Ideal Vikings Draft Scenario
Minnesota Vikings general manager Kwesi Adofo-Mensah the team's year-end press conference for the 2022 season after losing to the New York Giants in the playoffs.

The 2023 Minnesota Vikings have just three cornerbacks under contract the day after the Super Bowl, and those men aren’t titans of industry.

If the regular season started tomorrow, Minnesota would showcase Andrew Booth, Cameron Dantzler, and Akayleb Evans at CB. That assortment isn’t conducive to Super Bowl contendership, so expect the Vikings to target corners in free agency or the 2023 NFL Draft.

Bleacher Report Says ‘Defense’ for Vikings in post-Super Bowl Mock Draft

And if it’s the draft, well, Bleacher Report has a theory for the Vikings next big-name cornerback — Cam Smith from the University of South Carolina.

Bowl Mock Draft
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This mock draft selection for the Vikings is not innovative or new. In fact, if the draft were based on mock drafters’ theories, Smith would already be on the team. Via credible mock drafts, Smith is the most commonly picked player to join the Vikings with the 23rd overall pick.

In the BR mock draft, the sports media site described Smith to the Vikings, “South Carolina’s Cam Smith is a smooth cover option to bolster the group and give it options […] Smith does a great job of staying low out of his breaks, showing great closing speed and presents excellent timing regarding potential pass break-ups.”

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“Over the long haul, a trio of Smith, Booth, and first-round safety Lewis Cine presents a promising secondary,” Bleacher Report concluded.

Two weeks ago, Joe Marino from The Draft Network spitballed Smith to the Vikings in a mock draft, too. He explained the selection, “The Minnesota Vikings stacked a bunch of wins together in 2022 with little help from their defense, which must be upgraded this offseason. Cam Smith is a versatile corner that can win in zone or man with exciting ball skills, physicality, and athleticism to be a lock-down performer in the NFL.”

The Vikings defense ranked 31st in the NFL per passing yards allowed, so an early-round cornerback feels like an automatic if no big CB names are acquired via free agency.

The Early Frontrunner
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Smith played 32 games at South Carolina, recording 91 tackles, 18 passes defended, 6 interceptions, and 3.5 tackles for loss. The 22-year-old also received 2nd Team All-SEC honors in 2021.

Pro Football Network’s Ian Cummings explained some of Smith’s strengths, “Smith’s physical edge isn’t just a cosmetic boost; it’s a large part of his game. At the catch point, Smith is very proactive. He actively extends and uses his length to pry away passes from receivers. He has a great sense of timing and knows when to high-point the ball.”

The knock on Smith during the early pre-draft lead-up is too much physicality or handsiness. He’s also not considered the best-tackling cornerback on the planet.

The Zapruder Part of Vikings
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Smith was teammates with current Vikings D.J. Wonnum (OLB) and Nick Muse (TE) at South Carolina.

If the Vikings do not pursue a CB in Round 1, other areas like WR2, EDGE rusher, or off-ball linebacker could be on the menu.

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 Sal Spice. His Vikings obsession dates back to 1996. Listed guilty pleasures: Peanut Butter Ice Cream, ‘The Sopranos,’ and The Doors (the band).

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