The Vikings Appear Set at Safety

Theory on Harrison
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When the Minnesota Vikings entered the 2024 NFL Draft, they needed to decide what value picks they could make in the middle rounds after being without second- and third-round picks. A quarterback would always be added, but what they did from there remained to be seen. Now that the dust has settled, we can see they opted against adding a safety.

The Vikings Appear Set at Safety

Brian Flores has a very solid top of the group at the back end of the secondary. Harrison Smith is a borderline Hall of Fame player who has been doing it forever, and Cam Bynum has stepped in as a worthy running mate. While Josh Metellus technically plays the position as well, he’s so much of a versatile weapon that it’s hard to pigeonhole him into a single position.

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Still, there is going to be a transition that takes place sooner rather than later, and Minnesota must prepare for it. Smith is in the final stages of his NFL career, and while it’s conceivable he could sign another one-year deal, it would be foolish to pretend that his production won’t eventually suffer. Theo Jackson was a preferred option behind the starter last year, and Jay Ward was a 2023 draft pick, but neither should be seen as surefire starting options.

Then there’s Lewis Cine.

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What to make of the 32nd overall pick in the 2022 NFL Draft is puzzling. The first selection of Kwesi Adofo-Mensah’s tenure as general manager has done nothing to suggest he belongs on the field. Of course, he suffered a gruesome leg injury only three games into his career, but last season, he saw the field for a grand total of eight defensive snaps. Working with Flores to provide a competent level of defensive play, Cine is entering a season where he must show up.

Next year, the Vikings will need to decide on Cine’s fifth-year option, which will ultimately dictate the narrative of how the pick is viewed. If he can work himself back up the depth chart and show hope toward being a future replacement at the top, then something can certainly be salvaged. If not, then signing a free agent this offseason to help provide some depth chart stability makes a good amount of sense.

camryn bynum inspired
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Fixing the Vikings’ secondary is something that Flores has been working on since taking over last season. The group took significant strides in 2023 but still has quite a ways to go.

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.