5 Vikings newcomers projected to start in 2022

(Photo by Quinn Harris/Getty Images) Za'Darius Smith
(Photo by Quinn Harris/Getty Images) Za'Darius Smith /
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Minnesota Vikings
(Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports) Lewis Cine /

Lewis Cine, safety

It isn’t just free agency where the Minnesota Vikings were looking to improve defensively. In fact, many fans expected the purple and gold to get a cornerback in the first round of the 2022 NFL Draft but instead, they selected safety Lewis Cine.

Minnesota appears to have a plan for Cine in their defense. The smart, young defender will be tasked with doing a lot in the Vikings’ defense in his first year, but his combination of speed and athleticism should have him making plays early and often.

Having a veteran in Harrison Smith to mentor him and help him acclimate to the NFL level is a huge benefit for the 22-year-old Georgia defensive back. It will allow him to come along quickly and contribute early.

While Lewis Cine will likely still take his lumps as a rookie and make mistakes, the future is very bright for the rookie defender. Expectations shouldn’t be too high for him this season, but being a first-round pick always puts extra pressure on a young player to perform at a high level.