7 Bold Predictions for Vikings Starting CB Duo in 2023

VikingsTerritory writers were asked to provide one prediction apiece for the Minnesota Vikings starting cornerback duo in 2023.

The franchise currently has Andrew Booth, Cameron Dantzler, and Akayleb Evans under contract, with the possibility of re-signing free agents Patrick Peterson and Duke Shelley. NFL free agency begins the week of March 13th, and the NFL draft is nine weeks away.

7 Bold Predictions for Vikings Starting CB Duo in 2023

Some predictions will double up as the panel did not use groupthink tactics during the exercise. In those circumstances, consider the prediction all the more popular.

1. Cameron Sutton & Andrew Booth

Vikings Starting CB Duo
Sep 11, 2022; Cincinnati, Ohio, USA; Pittsburgh Steelers cornerback Cameron Sutton (20) reacts after a foul called in the second half in the game against the Cincinnati Bengals at Paycor Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Katie Stratman-USA TODAY Sports.

Prediction Maker = Adam New

The Vikings will make a significant investment at cornerback in the free-agency market. It just so happens that the best cornerback on Brian Flores’ former team is a free agent, so I’m predicting the Vikings new defensive coordinator will bring in Cameron Sutton.

The six-year veteran brings experience but only turns 28 at the end of February. So, there is plenty of tread on the tires.

Sutton is a versatile player who can do it all. He started his career mostly playing in the slot but was moved predominantly to the outside over the last two years — with success. It would probably take somewhere in the region of $8 million to secure the former Steeler. That’s around the mark I expect the Vikings to pay free agents via their current cap situation.

I’m taking a leap of faith with my second choice. I was onboard the draft Andrew Booth in the first-round train this time last year. He dropped to the Vikings in the second, possibly due to an injury history that once again reared its ugly head in his rookie year. A fully fit Booth can be the cornerback the Vikings are looking for. He must come to training camp fit and strong and stay healthy.

If he does, he will be a starter this year.

2. Marcus Peters & Cameron Dantzler

Baltimore Ravens cornerback Marcus Peters (24) and his teammates stomp on the Titans logo after Peters picked up an interception to seal their win over the Tennessee Titans in Nashville on January 10, 2021. © Andrew Nelles / Tennessean.com via Imagn Content Services, LLC.

Prediction Maker = Ali Siddiqui

Marcus Peters and Cam Dantzler will be the starting CBs.

The Vikings will likely draft a CB with one of their first three picks, but they won’t start him, at least not early in the season.

3. James & Bradberry & Akayleb Evans

Dec 13, 2020; East Rutherford, New Jersey, USA; New York Giants cornerback James Bradberry (24) breaks up a pass intended for Arizona Cardinals wide receiver KeeSean Johnson (19) during the first half at MetLife Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Vincent Carchietta-USA TODAY Sports.

Prediction Maker = Cole Smith

The two starting Vikings cornerbacks in 2023 will be Akayleb Evans and James Bradberry. The team will roll into the season with one of their promising young corners making his way up the depth chart.

But with Andrew Booth’s uncertainty, the Vikings will likely add a veteran cornerback. Bradberry was a great addition for the Eagles last year, even though most will remember him for a costly holding penalty in the Super Bowl.

4. Cameron Sutton & Joey Porter Jr.

Penn State Nittany Lions cornerback Joey Porter Jr. (9) questions a call during Saturday’s NCAA Division I football game against the Ohio State Buckeyes at Ohio Stadium in Columbus on October 30, 2021. © Barbara J. Perenic/Columbus Dispatch / USA TODAY NETWORK.

Prediction Maker = Mitch Massman

The two starting CBs in 2023 will be Cameron Sutton and Joey Porter. The Vikings have three guys on the active roster at CB. They will need to address this issue in free agency and the draft. Cameron Dantzler has repeatedly lost his starting job in the last two years, and Evans and Booth have injury concerns.

Meanwhile, Sutton has a history with Flores, and Porter is one of the best press-man CBs in the draft. Both will do well in this defense.

5. Cameron Sutton & Akayleb Evans

The Vikings Final Injury Report: Week 13
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.

Prediction Maker = Josh Frey

The Brian Flores hire will not only be a great move schematically, but it’ll also be a recruitment tool for free agents. The Vikings will sign Cameron Sutton, and Akayleb Evans will build off a strong rookie season to snatch the other spot.

6. Duke Shelley & Andrew Booth

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.

Prediction Maker = Ted Schwerzler

The biggest thing the Vikings need to get from the 2022 draft class is availability. If Booth Jr. can get right this offseason, he can be a difference-maker. It may be enticing to bring Patrick Peterson back again, but his salary probably gets a bit too high.

Go with Shelley, who showed nicely down the stretch, and let him work with Flores.

t7. Cameron Sutton & Duke Shelley

PFF Predicts Steelers Free
Sep 12, 2021; Orchard Park, New York, USA; Pittsburgh Steelers cornerback Cameron Sutton (20) reacts to a defensive play against the Buffalo Bills during the second half at Highmark Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Rich Barnes-USA TODAY Sports.

Prediction Maker = Dustin Baker

New defensive coordinator Brian Flores calls upon one of “his guys” from the Steelers in Cameron Sutton, and general manager Kwesi Adofo-Mensah delivers on his “value speech” by retaining Duke Shelley.

In Week 1, Sutton and Shelley start as sure commodities while Andrew Booth and Akayleb Evans mature and develop. We know injuries will arise — because Mike Zimmer was right: corners always get hurt — and we’ll get a peek at Booth and Evans throughout the 2023 season.

But to start the Flores era off right, it’s Sutton and Shelley.

t7. Cameron Sutton & Duke Shelley

CB Represents Fortune
Jan 8, 2023; Chicago, Illinois, USA; Minnesota Vikings cornerback Duke Shelley (20) celebrates a defensive pass breakup during the third quarter against the Chicago Bears at Soldier Field. Mandatory Credit: Daniel Bartel-USA TODAY Sports

Prediction Maker = Janik Eckardt

The Vikings re-sign Duke Shelley after his good play in 2022 and pair him with former Steelers cornerback Cameron Sutton. Defensive coordinator Brian Flores knows him from Pittsburgh. The organization hopes that Andrew Booth can make a jump in his development and challenge Shelley at some point.

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).

All statistics provided by Pro Football Reference / Stathead; all contractual information provided by OverTheCap.com.