Defensive Prospect No. 2
Daequan Hardy - CB (Penn State)
The Vikings need to add some more quality and depth to their cornerback room.
Byron Murphy and Mekhi Blackmon look like the starters next season, and the depth behind them is scary at best.
Akayleb Evans fell off the map late in the 2023 season, and Andrew Booth Jr. couldn't get on the field. They got a little run out of undrafted rookie Jaylin Williams, but an infusion of talent is needed here.
One interesting prospect who will be at the East-West Shrine Bowl is Penn State's Daequan Hardy.
The biggest knock on Hardy is his lack of size, as he stands just 5-foot-9 and 182 pounds. While that will put him at a disadvantage against some bigger receivers, there's plenty to like about Hardy's game.
He's not afraid to come out and attack his man, putting his hands all over him at the line of scrimmage. He's also excellent at sticking stride for stride with his receiver and knows when to get his hands up to bat the ball away.
His recovery speed is good, and he boasts a smooth backpedal and has an overall high football I.Q. He isn't a big hitter and wouldn't be a huge help in run support. However, he can fill a need on the Vikings' defense as a slot cornerback and will bring a lot of energy and fire to this defense.
His size will push him down the board a bit, but with a good week at the East-West Shrine Bowl paired with a solid outing at the NFL Scouting Combine, he could come off the board earlier than many currently expect.