4 best Minnesota Vikings first-round picks of the last decade

(Photo by Stephen Maturen/Getty Images) Harrison Smith
(Photo by Stephen Maturen/Getty Images) Harrison Smith /
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Minnesota Vikings
(Photo by Gregory Shamus/Getty Images) Trae Waynes /

Trae Waynes – CB (2015)

The Vikings used their first-round pick in 2015 to take a cornerback, which is also known as Mike Zimmer’s favorite position group. Minnesota was smitten with the good-sized and speedy product from Michigan State and the team didn’t hesitate to take him with the 11th overall choice in 2015.

Trae Waynes‘ career got off to a slow start, but that wasn’t unexpected as Zimmer usually brings his young corners along slowly. Waynes had just 30 tackles as a rookie with one start.

He got a little more action during the following season and then he peaked in 2017. That year Waynes started every game and finished with 65 tackles, one sack, two interceptions, four tackles for a loss, and 11 pass breakups. He was arguably even better than Xavier Rhodes that season and some saw him as the best cornerback on the Vikings’ roster.

Waynes has great speed and he can keep up with the fastest wide receivers in the NFL. He doesn’t always trust his technique though and he seems to second guess himself at times, which can lead to some big completions.

Overall, Waynes turned out to be a solid pick by Minnesota and some fans will be sad to see him suiting up for the Cincinnati Bengals during the upcoming season.