What is the current state of the Vikings cornerback room in 2023?

(Photo by Kevin Sabitus/Getty Images) Andrew Booth Jr.
(Photo by Kevin Sabitus/Getty Images) Andrew Booth Jr. /
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Midway through the 2023 offseason, how is the cornerback group of the Minnesota Vikings shaping up for the upcoming season?

Last season, the cornerback position of the Minnesota Vikings was certainly a weakness, as the team allowed the fourth most air yards against, averaging 289.0 yards per game.

Despite a 13-win season, the entire Vikings secondary suffered several major injuries, never found consistency, and was part of the reason that the team replaced Ed Donatell with Brian Flores as the team’s defensive coordinator.

Let’s look at the current state of Minnesota’s cornerback room.

Cornerbacks who left the Vikings in 2023

Minnesota Vikings
(Photo by David Berding/Getty Images) Patrick Peterson /

Patrick Peterson

After two strong seasons in Minnesota, Patrick Peterson signed a two-year deal worth $14 million with the Pittsburgh Steelers this offseason. Though Peterson’s stats were above average, his presence and leadership is what the Vikings will miss most.

Owning a 58.1 percent completion rate allowed, 20 pass breakups, and six interceptions, Pat Pete was the best and most reliable corner on Minnesota’s roster during his tenure.

However, the Vikings are clearly trying to get younger and faster on defense, so the 32-year-old, while still a very solid defender, was replaced in free agency this offseason by former Cardinals corner Byron Murphy. Peterson’s presence in Minnesota’s cornerback room and as a team leader will be missed though.

Cameron Dantzler

In a move that many didn’t see coming, the Vikings waived Cameron Danztler this year, and he was immediately claimed by the Washington Commanders.

Dantzler played three seasons with Minnesota, but the former third-rounder was only able to start 26 games due to injuries and consistency issues throughout his young NFL career.

He allegedly struggled with confidence in Mike Zimmer’s defense, which limited his production and development, and things didn’t get much better under Donatell in 2022.

Dantzler showed flashes on run defense and made some plays, but he struggled in man coverage, often losing jump balls and getting physically dominated by high-end wide receivers, which led to him being replaced by Duke Shelley midway through the 2022 season.

Dantzler’s three interceptions, 17 pass breakups, and a 64.9 percent completion rate allowed, should be replaced by second-year corners Andrew Booth Jr. and Akayleb Evans, who are both expected to be healthy for Vikings training camp this summer.

Duke Shelley

On Thursday, it was revealed that Duke Shelley will not be returning to Minnesota this year, as he has signed a deal with the Las Vegas Raiders.

Shelley played in 11 games, started five, and racked up eight pass breakups with an impressive 55.2 percent passer rating allowed when targeted.

Shelley was a quiet pick-up after being cut by the Chicago Bears late in the 2022 preseason, but he made the most of his opportunity last season as injuries piled up. Shelley was a pass-breakup machine, including game-saving plays when opposing quarterbacks tried to pick on him.

The former Kansas State Wildcat has certainly earned another contract, and he has openly expressed his desire to re-sign with the Vikings via Twitter. But now he will take his talents to try and help the Raiders