Minnesota Vikings: 5 possible late-round defensive targets

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Ryan Smith – CB – North Carolina Central

Cornerback is probably not a position the Minnesota Vikings will target in the early to middle rounds of this draft, but they could look to bring in another corner with a late-round pick, and one intriguing potential prospect is Ryan Smith of North Carolina Central.

Smith is obviously not someone you hear a lot about, because he went to North Carolina Central, but the Vikings are aware of him and had him in as part of their top-30 event two weeks ago.

The 5-11 Smith has decent size for the position but doesn’t necessarily have a ton of strength. His speed is only okay for a cornerback. Where Smith shines is in his coverage technique, footwork and ball skills. He’s solid as a press corner and has a good-looking backpedal.

If Smith had better straight line speed and was a little stronger, he might be worth a look as an outside corner, but with his limitations he likely figures as a slot corner in the NFL. As a late-round player I feel like Smith is worth a look. He’s clearly not an eye-popping athlete or impressive physical specimen but it sounds like he has enough to make it as a backup corner who could end up being your full-time nickel guy down the road (if, for instance, Captain Munnerlyn does not return after his contract expires).