Watch the Vikings ‘Forgotten’ 2022 Draft Pick

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Kwesi Adofo-Mensah’s first draft class had an underwhelming rookie season in 2022. He first traded down to secure extra draft capital and selected Lewis Cine in the process, and later picked Ed Ingram and Andrew Booth in the second round and Brian Asamoah in the third. Only Ingram received a full starter role, while Cine and Booth mostly spent their debut seasons on IR and Asamoah as a backup. One of them is forecasted to have a big season ahead.

Watch the Vikings ‘Forgotten’ 2022 Draft Pick

Some players need a year to break out in the NFL. K.J. Osborn was a fantastic example. He didn’t play as a rookie on offense and was exclusively a kick returner. Many Vikings fans wrote him off, but he said ‘not so fast’ and wowed everyone in training camp in 2021 and has been the WR3 since then. He recorded a total of more than 1,300 yards in the last two campaigns.

Forgotten 2022 Draft Pick'
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It can take some time for players to get acclimated to the NFL, and one reason can be injuries, which was the case for safety Lewis Cine who missed most of his rookie season with a fractured leg. However, he landed on the list of eight forgotten 2022 draft picks written by Kristopher Knox (Bleacher Report).

The Minnesota Vikings used the 32nd overall pick in last year’s draft on former Georgia safety Lewis Cine. However, the 23-year-old had his inaugural campaign cut short by a compound leg fracture that required two surgeries—and he wasn’t much of a defensive factor before that. Cine appeared in three games before the Week 4 injury and logged a mere two defensive snaps.

Kristopher Knox

Cine unexpectedly lost the camp competition to Camryn Bynum and wasn’t even the top backup as Josh Metellus replaced Harrison Smith in the starting lineup during an injury absence. He had a long way to go, and it’s not sure if he would’ve gotten a more significant role had he stayed healthy, but usually, first-rounders see the field early in their careers, considering the draft capital they cost. The good news is that Cine is fully recovered from his gruesome injury and is full-go.

Predictions for Vikings Rookies
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However, Cine appears to be recovering well and could be back to 100 percent by the start of training camp.

“I’m doing great. I’m progressing along. I’ve worked my tail off the whole offseason,” Cine said, per Lindsey Young of the team’s official website.

While the second-year man may still be stuck behind Harrison Smith and Camryn Bynum at safety, he should see the field more as a sophomore. He could also have a real opportunity to shine as a rotational player under new defensive coordinator Brian Flores.

“Linebackers and defensive backs were moving all over the place, showing a variety of different looks to the offense—many of them involving pressure—during a brief 11-on-11 period,” Will Ragatz of FanNation wrote during Vikings organized team activities (OTAs).

If Flores is going to use a more aggressive and diversified scheme than predecessor Ed Donatell, Cine could be a huge part of it. It’ll be interesting to see just how he’s utilized during camp.

Kristopher Knox

Cine will once again enter the same camp competition as last year. He will go up against Bynum, who now has one season as a starter under his belt, and Metellus, whose versatility received high praise.

Regardless of the competition, Cine is a talented player. He was a first-rounder for a reason and should get the opportunity to actually be on the field at some point. Bynum was a disappointment in his first season as a starter, and the extra speed of Cine could be a valuable asset in the new defense.

Lewis Cine Pitched a Shutout vs. Lions. And Not in a Good Way.
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It will be a fascinating storyline in the preseason and training camp. Cine offers the highest upside of the trio but might be prone to mistakes early in his playing days. A safety must be in the right position to make a play, and if he is not, the opponents hit big plays. Mistakes aren’t forgiven like they are at other positions, which is why it is important to be fully ready when stepping on the field.

Cine isn’t the only sophomore who wants to get on the field in the defensive backfield. Akayleb Evans and Andrew Booth are in the mix for a starting cornerback job while Brian Asamoah is expected to take over as a starting linebacker in Brian Flores’ new defense.

Janik Eckardt is a football fan who likes numbers and stats. The Vikings became his favorite team despite their quarterback at the time, Christian Ponder. He is a walking soccer encyclopedia, loves watching sitcoms, and Classic rock is his music genre of choice. Follow him on Twitter if you like the Vikings: @JanikEckardt