‘Madden’ Thinks Vikings Cornerbacks Are Downright Bad

Grim Injury News for Vikings CB
Aug 14, 2022; Paradise, Nevada, USA; Minnesota Vikings cornerback Andrew Booth Jr. (23) in the first half against the Las Vegas Raiders at Allegiant Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports.

There’s no denying that the Minnesota Vikings defense was bad in 2022. Ed Donatell’s unit ranked near the bottom of the NFL, and had it not been for miraculous comebacks, Kevin O’Connell’s first season could have gone much worse. In 2023, the cornerback room isn’t seen as much better by Madden 24.

‘Madden’ Thinks Vikings Cornerbacks Are Downright Bad

The Vikings greatest addition this offseason may wind up being defensive coordinator Brian Flores. Moving on from Ed Donatell should have happened during the year last season, but Flores brings an opportunity for the unit to exhibit at least a shred of competence. While inability permeated the group as a whole last year, the cornerback position was shredded far too often.

Not shockingly, the Vikings haven’t overhauled the group. Strapped for cash and still looking for development from its youth, Minnesota needs those already within the organization to step up in a big way. Madden doesn’t believe in virtually any of them yet, but the hope is that these ratings could trend upward as the year progresses. As good as Madden sees the Minnesota wideouts, the opposite is true for the corners.

Byron Murphy Jr. – 82

Thinks Vikings
Sep 18, 2022; Paradise, Nevada, USA; Arizona Cardinals cornerback Byron Murphy Jr. (7) celebrates after scoring on a 59-yard fumble recovery in overtime against the Las Vegas Raiders at Allegiant Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports.

Gone is Patrick Peterson, and while he ranks 85 overall for his new Pittsburgh Steelers teammates, the Vikings tabbed veteran Murphy Jr. as the voice to lead their group. He will factor in as the nickel corner, and one can hope that he produces half as much value as Peterson did a season ago.

Andrew Booth Jr. – 72

A massive dropoff happens behind Murphy Jr., but Booth Jr. is the fastest of the Minnesota corners. He was seen as a value play coming out of the draft last year, and that could still be true if he can remain healthy and available.

Joejuan Williams – 72

A free agent addition this offseason, WIlliams checks in right alongside Booth Jr. The upside for the former is substantially higher, but this reflects Minnesota’s desire to have something that can play at a reasonable level every week.

Mekhi Blackmon – 71

Rookie minicamp highlights from Minnesota Vikings cornerback Mekhi Blackmon’s first practice as a Viking after being selected in the 2023 NFL Draft. Blackmon is a cornerback from USC drafted by Minnesota in Round 3 of the 2023 NFL Draft.

A rookie stepping in and hoping to make an immediate impact, Blackmon should have ample opportunity to compete. Again, the Vikings cornerback room is nothing to write home about, and Blackmon could certainly establish himself as a worthy playmaker from the jump.

Akayleb Evans – 68

as April Arrives
Oct 16, 2022; Miami Gardens, Florida, USA; Minnesota Vikings cornerback Akayleb Evans (21) after a game against the Miami Dolphins at Hard Rock Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Rich Storry-USA TODAY Sports.

Evans had a coming-out party last year against the Washington Commanders, but he then dealt with injury and was largely unavailable. If he can be back at full health, this rating should rise substantially, and Flores will find himself leaning on Evans more often than not in coverage.

Tay Gowan (65), Kalon Barnes (64)

This duo leaves plenty to be desired, and it remains to be seen which of them will actually crack the active roster. Either way, there’s a big gap between number one for Minnesota and another after the following four options. Madden knows it, and so do you.

In case you’re wondering, fan-favorite Duke Shelley is a 74 overall for the Las Vegas Raiders.

Ted Schwerzler is a blogger from the Twin Cities that is focused on all things Minnesota Twins and Minnesota Vikings. He’s active on Twitter and writes weekly for Twins Daily. As a former college athlete and avid sports fan, covering our pro teams with a passion has always seemed like such a natural outlet.