Dec 30, 2012; Minneapolis, MN, USA; Minnesota Vikings defensive end Everson Griffen (97) and defensive back Jamarca Sanford (33) against the Green Bay Packers at the Metrodome. The Vikings defeated the Packers 37-34. Mandatory Credit: Brace Hemmelgarn-USA TODAY Sports

Vikings Top 5 Camp Battles: #4 Safety


And now back to our series of posts looking at potential camp battles. Last time we looked at the battle shaping up over the last spot (or two) at the back end of the receiver corps. Today we’ll look at safety.

But wait a second, is there even a battle at safety? Jamarca Sanford seems to have that second spot pretty well locked down. Well I think there could be a battle at safety depending on how one particular guy looks in camp. Let’s run down the combatants in this potential battle.

Jamarca Sanford

Folks tend to forget that Sanford almost didn’t make the team coming out of last preseason. He was a pretty solid candidate to get cut right up until the very end. But he hung on by the skin of his teeth and ended up playing quite a bit thanks to Mistral Raymond’s injury. Sanford can’t cover anyone but he’s solid in the box. He tackles well and he creates some turnovers. And he’s valuable on special teams. He was brought back as a free agent because he’s a safe, reliable choice. But he’s not what you’d call a top-of-the-line NFL starter.

Robert Blanton

This is the guy I want to see in camp. In fact he’s possibly the one guy I’m most intrigued about. We didn’t get to see very much of him last season but what little we did see I think was encouraging. The one thing I noticed is that this guy really hangs on when he tackles. I think he’ll be a solid run support player and a sound tackler. Now we need to see how he develops in coverage. If he can show anything in coverage I think he has a shot to unseat Sanford. But that’s still a pretty big if. Like I said, we’ll have to see how he looks in camp. But don’t be surprised if some buzz starts up around him early on.

Did we forget about Mistral Raymond?

I would love to forget about Mistral Raymond and his crap tackling. Hey Mistral. You know you’re allowed to wrap up right? Aiming your helmet low and spearing guys while your own arms are pinned to your sides? That’s not generally considered sound technique.

Next up: #3 Nose Tackle

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