As of right now, Anthony Harris is only under contract for this year, and Harrison Smith is only getting older. The Vikings have to begin to think about the future of their safety group before it is too late. In 2021, they could be in the market for a difference-maker on the back end of the defense.
The safety position is an interesting one in the draft. Teams tend to not value them very highly, but a versatile safety can completely revitalize a defense. If you don’t believe this, just look at Minnesota’s defense before Harrison Smith arrived and where they have come since then.
The upcoming safety class features Jevon Holland (Oregon), Caden Sterns (Texas), and Andre Cisco (Syracuse) atop the list. Holland is a do-it-all safety who has become a star at Oregon and he looks to be the top safety next year. Sterns has been a hot name since before he even arrived at Texas and he will be a fun player to watch. Cisco projects as more of a box safety who loves to hit and he can cover tight ends well.
It will not be easy for the Vikings to move on from Smith and it definitely will not be easy to replace him. Minnesota probably won’t be parting ways with him in the near future, but his time with the team is surely reaching its end. With a high cap number attached, Smith cannot remain with the Vikings forever. Maybe they find his successor early in the 2021 NFL Draft.