7 safeties the Minnesota Vikings could select in the 2022 NFL Draft

(Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports) Lewis Cine
(Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports) Lewis Cine /
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Minnesota Vikings
(Photo by Justin Casterline/Getty Images) Leon O’Neal /

Leon O’Neal (Texas A&M)


  • Height: 6-foot-0.5 | Weight: 209 pounds

2021 Stats:

  • 58 tackles
  • 2 interceptions
  • 5 passes defended
  • 3 tackles for loss

If the Minnesota Vikings are looking for a little more bang for their buck at the safety position, then someone like Leon O’Neal could come into the equation in the mid-to-late rounds. The Texas A&M product has performed well in the SEC over the last three years and providing there are no hiccups in his transition, he might emerge into a solid depth chart piece right out of the gate.

O’Neal has good reactionary skills and is a threat to score anytime he gets his hands on the football. There is a patience to the player’s game that’s well beyond his years and his coverage – especially in the red zone – is another reason to be encouraged about his professional outlook.

As is the case with most projected Day 3 selections, O’Neal does have some work to do in pursuit of maximizing his physical attributes. Finishing off plays with more conviction would be top of the list, with his tackling technique also requiring additional refinement.

Even though O’Neal’s presence looks NFL-ready, there is a tendency to become erratic in run support and the prospect does not necessarily have the elite speed needed to go down the field with opposing wide receivers.

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O’Neal has the attitude to take coaching well. So there are far worse avenues for the Vikings to go down if they opt to wait a little longer for safety assistance.