4 early contenders for the Minnesota Vikings first-round pick in 2023

(Andrew Wevers-USA TODAY Sports) Brian Branch
(Andrew Wevers-USA TODAY Sports) Brian Branch /
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Minnesota Vikings
(Jeff Blake-USA TODAY Sports) Cam Smith /

Cam Smith – CB

While there are other areas that need reinforcing before the 2023 season begins, the Minnesota Vikings’ defense needs a significant makeover. This normally productive unit was a constant source of frustration as the campaign went on, which came to light in no uncertain terms as a primary reason behind their downfall against the New York Giants.

If teams cannot effectively defend the pass, they have no hope in today’s game. And the Vikings continuously fell dangerously short in that regard.

Much will depend on the development of Cameron Dantzler and Andrew Booth Jr. this offseason. But it would be a huge shock if the Vikings didn’t acquire another talented prospect from the college ranks that can make a difference.

Cam Smith is the latest in a long line of gifted corners to emerge from South Carolina. The former four-star high school recruit possesses outstanding footwork and explosiveness to go down the field against even the speediest wide receivers with relative ease.

Smith is savvy in zone coverage and holds his own in man. Although he’ll need to be more imposing in press coverage against more physical wideouts at the next level.

There’s every chance Smith becomes a productive starter quickly in the right system. Whether that’s on the Vikings or not is up for debate.

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