Super early 22-man starter projections for the 2022 Vikings

(Photo by Tommy Gilligan-USA TODAY Sports) K.J. Osborn
(Photo by Tommy Gilligan-USA TODAY Sports) K.J. Osborn /
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Minnesota Vikings
(Photo by Brace Hemmelgarn-USA TODAY Sports) Harrison Smith /

Starting Safeties

  • Harrison Smith

When Harrison Smith steps on the field for the team’s Week 1 matchup against the Packers next season, he will be the oldest member of Minnesota’s starting defense.

Despite the fact that he is 33-years-old, Smith is still playing at a high level, and he’s still regarded as one of the best safeties in the NFL.

With the Vikings switching to a new defensive scheme this year, Smith could be asked to do some different things. But we should still expect the Minnesota safety to be moving all over the field and making plays in 2022 like he’s done during his entire career.

  • Lewis Cine (Rookie)

The Vikings’ top pick in this year’s NFL Draft, the team is going to try and convince us that Lewis Cine will have to earn his starting job this summer. But we all know that he will be out on the field as part of Minnesota’s starting defense when they begin the regular season.

Cine is likely going to be a player that Vikings fans love to watch. He has excellent speed, which allows him to keep pace with almost any offensive player on the field, and he can deliver a powerful hit similar to the guy that he’ll be learning from known as “The Hitman”.

For a team that has struggled on the defensive side of the ball during the last two seasons, Cine has the talent to make a significant impact for Minnesota during his rookie year.

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