6 candidates to replace Jeff Gladney for the Minnesota Vikings

(Photo by Adam Glanzman/Getty Images) Dre Kirkpatrick
(Photo by Adam Glanzman/Getty Images) Dre Kirkpatrick /
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Minnesota Vikings
(Photo by Kevin Jairaj-USA TODAY Sports) Patrick Surtain II – Alabama /

Patrick Surtain II (Alabama)

As long as Mike Zimmer is the team’s head coach, the Vikings drafting a cornerback in the first round is always a possibility. If Minnesota releases Gladney, picking a corner in the first round of this year’s NFL Draft becomes much more realistic.

Patrick Surtain II is one of the top cornerback prospects in the 2021 draft pool and it just so happens that his defensive backs coach during his college career at Alabama, Karl Scott, was hired to be the Vikings’ new defensive backs coach this year.

With a familiar face in Scott on the coaching staff, Surtain might be able to make a significant impact as a rookie if he were to end up getting drafted by Minnesota.

Trill Williams (Syracuse)

If the Vikings end up passing on a corner in the first round, Trill Williams is someone who could still be available when it comes time for them to make their two selections in the third round of this year’s draft.

Williams is a 6-foot-2, 198-pound defensive back who spent time in college lining up as an outside corner, in the slot, and at safety. He has a lot of upside and Zimmer is someone who could get the most out of his potential.

Minnesota loves players with positional versatility, which is why a prospect like Williams might even be attractive to them whether they release Gladney or not.