Corner options in the fourth and fifth round
One guy that should be available at this point in the draft, but could also be a steal, is former Temple corner Harrison Hand. He’s one of the better zone-coverage corners in the class and he flashed some really good ball skills this year.
Hand has really good instincts and he anticipates throws extremely well. He’s a bigger corner that has a lot of length to him, but he’s very fluid and still pretty agile for a bigger guy.
A corner that Mike Zimmer might like more than the consensus is Stanford Samuels out of Florida State. He has some size to him and he plays coverage well to go along with his phenomenal ball skill. He does struggle with fluidity, however, and he needs to learn to finish his tackles more.
But watching Samuels just screams “Zimmer Project”. Drafting him in the fourth round might feel like a slight reach to some. But if he can learn from Zimmer, who has had success grooming young corners in the past, he could be a quality player for the Vikings.
Corner options in the sixth and seventh round
With their sixth and seventh-round picks, Minnesota needs to look for the high upside project type of prospect. They probably won’t find anyone at this point in the draft who will make a great impact in year one or even year two. But there are still a few guys the Vikings should be on the lookout for.
One cornerback prospect who was thought of pretty highly during the early portion of last season was Essang Bassey out of Wake Forest. He lacks size and he doesn’t do well with physicality, but he projects as a project type of slot corner. If he can bulk up and start learning how to hit and play through contact, he could make for a solid slot corner in the NFL.
Another guy who will be more of a natural in the slot is former Washington corner, Myles Bryant. He’s a physical man-coverage type of cornerback who has no problem working around the trash and making a play on a receiver.
Former Duquesne corner Reid Harrison-Ducros, who was a transfer from Boise State, is someone who can play on the outside and in the slot. But he is more of a natural on the outside. He has tremendous ball skills and body control to make great plays on the boundary.
Last but not least, watch for Trajan Bandy out of Miami later in the draft. He’s a high upside player who doesn’t have much size, but he plays well in off-coverage. He’s someone that a team could stick in the slot to blanket over the middle of the field in zone coverage.