The Minnesota Vikings finally picked a defensive player in the 2019 NFL Draft, selecting USC linebacker Cameron Smith in the fifth round.
The Minnesota Vikings entered Day 3 of the 2019 NFL Draft having taken care of some major needs in Rounds 2-3 but still looking to add depth and competition to their roster in the later rounds.
After using their first Day 3 pick on an offensive lineman to add talent to a group that was lacking during the 2018 NFL season, focus shifted to the team’s pick in Round 5 where nearly any position could be selected.
With their fifth round pick, the Minnesota Vikings selected linebacker Cameron Smith out of USC after trading down with the New England Patriots. Here is the announcement from the team’s official Twitter account:
Smith is the first defensive player the Vikings have selected in the 2019 NFL Draft and he should immediately be seen as a special teams contributor and backup linebacker at a position where the team needed help.
Starters Anthony Barr, Eric Kendricks, and Ben Gedeon should return as the starters with Eric Wilson being the squad’s primary backup. However, there is plenty of room on the roster for a special teams linebacker who should be able to take his time to grow and develop as a defender.
Cameron Smith played in 46 games for USC where he racked up 354 total tackles (208 solo), with 14 pass defenses, four interceptions, 3.5 sacks, three fumble recoveries, one forced fumble, and one defensive score.
During his 2017 campaign, Smith showed off his ability to find the football as a tackler, accumulating 11 tackles for a loss. This is evidence of a high football IQ, ability to slip blockers, and quick decision making.
Congratulations to Cameron Smith on joining the Minnesota Vikings as the team’s fifth-round selection in the 2019 NFL Draft and best of luck to him on his NFL career.