Jeff Gladney will wind up as the Minnesota Vikings’ slot corner
The Vikings needed any type of corner they could get their hands on in this draft. Having lost the services of Xavier Rhodes, Trae Waynes and Mackensie Alexander, the Vikings went to work early selecting Jeff Gladney with the 30th overall pick in the draft.
Much has been made about Gladney being a “Mike Zimmer” cornerback, and while that may be true, projecting him on the outside may be a mistake. At 5-foot-10 and 191 pounds, he has the same size as Alexander, who manned the slot for the Vikings the past two seasons.
The bad news is we may not see that prophecy come to fruition right away.
The slot corner has taken time to perfect under Zimmer and just as his predecessors, Gladney will need to get down the nuances of playing either on the outside or in the slot without the aid of on-field instruction prior to training camp.
That’s not to say Gladney won’t be able to hold his own on the outside, as he led the nation in contested targets with 75, per Pro Football Focus. Although he’s less evasive than mosquitos in Minnesota, the Vikings could grab one more corner to play on the outside in the coming years or see Cameron Dantzler and Holton Hill step up to grab those spots this season.