Minnesota Vikings: Don’t forget about CB Trae Waynes
By Adam Carlson
Last season, fans didn’t see a lot of cornerback Trae Waynes on the football field for the Minnesota Vikings, but that could change for the 2016 NFL season.
When a team uses a first round draft pick on a player, expectations are typically high for them to be able to step in and contribute immediately. However, when the Minnesota Vikings used their ninth overall pick in the 2015 NFL Draft on Trae Waynes, the young cornerback barely saw the field.
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If not for injuries last year, odds are that Waynes may not have even stepped into the lineup on a regular basis. But when the former Michigan State defensive back did take the field, he initially made a lot of mistakes and drew the ire of some VIkings fans.
There is no arguing that cornerback is one of the hardest positions to play in today’s NFL. With the changes in rules from the college level to the pros, the bigger wide receivers they have to cover, and learn to cover a more diverse group of routes. But now, with one full season under his belt, Trae Waynes could be ready to make an impact for the Minnesota Vikings.
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A recent article on NFL.com recently highlighted their “5 rookies from 2015 we shouldn’t forget about” and the number one entry on their list was Trae Waynes. Here is what they had to say about the cornerback entering his sophomore NFL season:
"” Newman was a joy to watch last year, but our guess is that he will not play close to 1,000 snaps again this year, with Waynes figuring to get a bigger piece of the pie. We recognize that this prediction will require us to suspend some belief about how the NFL works and how impatient coaches can get, but the physical tools are there. Will he be a Pro Bowler in 2016? Probably not. Is there a good chance he could double or maybe triple his snap count from his rookie season? Yes.”"
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While Waynes likely will still share snaps with Newman, he should see a bigger role in the Minnesota Vikings defense this year. And, as NFL.com’s Conor Orr said above, that might not mean seeing him on the field in a full time capacity. However, with a healthy rotation of defensive backs and a solid depth behind them, the Vikings look to have another intimidating defensive backfield in 2016.