Will Vikings Really Cut Former Top Picks for Nothing?

NFL Minnesota Vikings safety Lewis Cine. © Trevor Ruszkowski-USA TODAY Sports.

The Minnesota Vikings will make some interesting roster decisions before Week 1 of the 2024 NFL season, and two of them concern former top picks Lewis Cine and Andrew Booth Jr. Both were taken during general manager Kwesi Adofo-Mensah’s first draft, and neither has performed to expectations.

Will Vikings Really Cut Former Top Picks for Nothing?

With Harrison Smith entering the twilight of his career, Kwesi Adofo-Mensah decided that grabbing a safety with the Vikings first-round pick in 2022 was a good idea. However, instead of picking Kyle Hamilton, he traded back and wound up with Lewis Cine. The hard-hitter from Georgia would be more of a project, and that all went up in the air after suffering a catastrophic injury.

NFL World Reacts to Devastating Injury for Vikings Rookie
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Playing overseas in the London game, Cine never made the trip back to Minnesota with his team after succumbing to a gruesome injury on the field. Needing emergency surgery in the United Kingdom, he then was flown back days later. Ultimately, that injury ended his season, and it probably changed his career trajectory.

Now, with two years as a professional under his belt, he has almost nothing to show for it on the field. He was not even a rotational defender last season. Cine saw snaps only on special teams, and he rarely stood out. With the emergence of Cam Bynum and Josh Mettellus as starters, Smith back for his role, and second-year man Jay Ward out to eat his lunch, Cine is no better than fifth on the depth chart.

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Similarly, Andrew Booth Jr. was a second-round pick who fell due to his injury history. Unfortunately, that has followed him to the professional ranks, and he has failed to stay on the field for Minnesota as well. When given an opportunity for enhanced run, he has done little to take hold of it and has often found himself right back on the bench.

Despite a cornerback room needing serious help last season, Booth Jr. could never separate himself and became just one of the guys. Now, with Shaw Griffin signed and rookie Khyree Jackson in the mix, it doesn’t seem like he’ll have an easier time getting reps this time around.

Top Picks
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Both players are certainly cut candidates for the Vikings, but you’d have to imagine Minnesota would prefer to get compensation for either. Finding another team with first-round flops to flip them for makes a good deal of sense, and anything is better than dumping them for nothing.

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.