The Vikings ‘Most Overvalued’ Player Is a Weird Choice

A Lovable Success Story
Nov 6, 2022; Landover, Maryland, USA; Minnesota Vikings players celebrate after an interception by Vikings safety Harrison Smith (22) against the Washington Commanders during the fourth quarter at FedExField. Mandatory Credit: Geoff Burke-USA TODAY Sports.

The Minnesota Vikings begin the regular season in less than two months, and the club is forecasted to win about eight or nine games in 2023.

The Tampa Bay Buccaneers travel to U.S. Bank Stadium on September 10th for the start of festivities.

The Vikings ‘Most Overvalued’ Player Is a Weird Choice

Until then, the roster will come together in July and August, and folks will size it up in the meantime. CBS Sports took a stab at that this week, nominating an ‘overvalued’ player from each team. And for the Vikings, the choice was weird — longtime strong safety Harrison Smith.

Most Overvalued
Dec 24, 2022; Minneapolis, Minnesota, USA; Minnesota Vikings safety Harrison Smith (22) warms up before the game against the New York Giants at U.S. Bank Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Matt Krohn-USA TODAY Sports.

The Vikings drafted Smith 11 years ago, and he’s cemented his legacy forever in the Twin Cities. Because of that alone, any list calling the man ‘overvalued’ is a bit strange. Although, the publication seems to imply ‘overvalued’ means that the team relies too much on Player X, or Smith, in this case.

Still, on his performance or existence on the 2023 roster, CBS Sports’ Jeff Kerr explained, “The Vikings haven’t seemed to find quality help in the secondary with Smith this offseason. Rookie Mekhi Blackmon and Akayleb Evans are projected to start at cornerback, while Lewis Cine and Camryn Bynum will battle for a safety spot. Byron Murphy will slot at nickel.”

Harrison Smith Wins
Oct 30, 2022; Minneapolis, Minnesota, USA; Minnesota Vikings safety Harrison Smith (22) returns an interception against the Arizona Cardinals during the third quarter at U.S. Bank Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Jeffrey Becker-USA TODAY Sports.

Smith is a six-time Pro Bowler and two-time All-Pro. His resume quietly rivals Hall of Famer Troy Polamalu.

“With a new secondary and defensive coordinator in Brian Flores, that’s a lot for Smith to handle. If he goes down, the Vikings pass defense could be in major trouble,” Kerr concluded about Smith’s overvalued status for the 2023 Vikings.

3 Huge Vikings Items
Jan 5, 2020; New Orleans, Louisiana, USA; New Orleans Saints quarterback Taysom Hill (7) catches a pass for a touchdown against Minnesota Vikings free safety Harrison Smith (22) during the fourth quarter of an NFC Wild Card playoff football game at the Mercedes-Benz Superdome. Mandatory Credit: Derick Hingle-USA TODAY Sports.

If ‘overvalued’ indeed means the Vikings are anticipating too much from Smith in 2023, perhaps the theory is accurate. The defender turned 34 this offseason, accepted a paycut to remain with the team, and is tunneling toward the end of his NFL career.

However, Smith is trustable at the back of the Vikings defense, especially with oodles of young newcomers on the defensive depth chart. In fact, Minnesota could be in rough shape without Smith in that regard.

Brian Flores Changed the Vikings Offseason
Dec 4, 2022; Minneapolis, Minnesota, USA; Minnesota Vikings safety Harrison Smith (22) returns an interception off New York Jets quarterback Mike White (not pictured) as cornerback Patrick Peterson. Mandatory Credit: Jeffrey Becker-USA TODAY Sports.

The next step for the Vikings defense, particularly pertaining to Smith, is determining his teammate’s identity at free safety. Last year’s starter, Camryn Bynum, could win the job. So could Josh Metellus or second-year safety Lewis Cine.

Other overvalued players described by Kerr included Amon-Ra St. Brown of the Detroit Lions, George Kittle from the San Francisco 49ers, and Atlanta Falcons wideout Drake London, among others.

Vikings training camp begins on July 23rd.

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,’ Basset Hounds, and The Doors (the band).

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