Despite their additions last weekend during the NFL Draft, the Minnesota Vikings should still make an attempt to sign a veteran corner before next season.
After selecting former LSU wide receiver Justin Jefferson with pick No. 22 in last week’s NFL Draft, the Minnesota Vikings didn’t have much time before they were back on the clock to make pick No. 25.
After going offense with their first selection in the draft, the Vikings and head coach Mike Zimmer switched their focus to the defensive side of the ball for their next choice. So with their second pick in the first round, Minnesota decided to add a talented piece to their secondary in former TCU cornerback Jeff Gladney.
The Vikings weren’t done adding players to their defensive backfield though. With pick No. 89 in the third round, Minnesota selected former Mississippi State corner, Cameron Dantzler. Then in the fifth round, the Vikings picked their third cornerback of this year’s draft in Temple’s Harrison Hand.
Following the draft, Minnesota was able to sign a total of 12 undrafted free agents including former UCF corner Nevelle Clarke. So in the span of about four days, the Vikings added four new cornerbacks to their roster.
This is good news for Minnesota’s corner depth and the guys they’ve added have a bunch of potential to make an impact for the team as early as next season. However, the Vikings are still lacking experience when it comes to their current group of cornerbacks.
With a combined nine starts between them, Mike Hughes and Holton Hill are technically the most experienced corners on Minnesota’s current roster despite both of them being just 23-years-old. In fact, the 25-year-old Marcus Sayles is the only one out of the 10 current Vikings cornerbacks who is over the age of 23.
While youth can be a good thing, the Vikings should still probably look to add someone to this group who has a little more experience in the NFL. Someone who can come in a be a leader for Minnesota’s very young defensive backfield.
There are still a number of talented corners available in free agency including Logan Ryan, Prince Amukamara, Dre Kirkpatrick, Johnathan Joseph, and Trumaine Johnson. Kirkpatrick and Joseph have both worked with Zimmer before during their time with the Cincinnati Bengals, so keep an eye on these two as possibilities for the Vikings to bring in.
Back in 2015, Minnesota was in a similar situation with their group of corners. So they went out and added Terence Newman in free agency. Newman ended up being a great addition to a Vikings secondary that helped the team finish the season with the fifth-best points allowed average.
Minnesota has also tried to bring in other veteran defensive backs in the last few years including Chris Crocker, George Iloka, Kurt Coleman, and Michael Griffin. But none of them were able to make any sort of significant impact for the Vikings.
Minnesota doesn’t currently have a ton of cap space right now (around $8.5 million), so they aren’t about to hand over a bunch of cash to one of the veteran corners who are still unsigned. But if the Vikings can convince one of these free-agent cornerbacks to agree to an affordable contract, it’s something the team absolutely must consider before the start of next season.