Greg Newsome II – CB (Cleveland Browns)
With Mike Zimmer building his reputation on coaching some of the best defensive backfields in the history of the NFL, one would assume the Vikings would always have an above-average pass defense as long as he is the team’s head coach.
However, this hasn’t been the case this season, and it certainly wasn’t the case last year either. Through their first 11 games of the 2021 campaign, Minnesota ranks 22nd in the league in passing yards allowed per matchup, 30th in yards allowed per pass completion, and 28th in yards allowed per pass attempt.
One would like to assume that if the Vikings had used their first-round pick on former Northwestern cornerback Greg Newsome II this year, their pass defense would be much better, and possibly even be a strength of the team.
Newsome, who was selected by the Cleveland Browns with the No. 26 pick in the 2021 draft, has been outstanding during his first year in the NFL.
He’s been a starter in nine of his 10 appearances this season, and during his time on the field, he has yet to allow a touchdown pass in coverage. When throwing passes in the direction of Newsome this year, opposing quarterbacks only have an 83.6 passer rating and a 61.9 completion percentage.
The former Northwestern cornerback would have not only improved Minnesota’s pass defense this season, but the team would also be much less worried about the future of the position group with Newsome on their roster.