Bold Prediction No. 6
Mekhi Blackmon will win a starting job at cornerback
There are few battles that will go down that are as intriguing as what will happen in the Vikings' cornerback room during training camp. With Patrick Peterson, Duke Shelley, and Kris Boyd all departing in free agency, the depth chart behind Byron Murphy is up for grabs, and with Flores in the fold, it will be up to the incumbents to show they’re ready for prominent roles.
The four players that will be in the mix for a starting spot on the outside are Andrew Booth Jr., Akayleb Evans, Joejuan Johnson, and Mekhi Blackmon. While Evans and Booth have experience, and Johnson played in a similar scheme with the New England Patriots, Blackmon could be the player that emerges on top.
Blackmon’s collegiate career was a journey, spending four years with Colorado before transferring to USC. In his lone season with the Trojans, Blackmon stood out by allowing three catches in 15 targets in man coverage. While Blackmon only played 20 percent of his snaps in man, it’s a base for Flores to build on as he relies on plenty of press-man coverage.
This could be an advantage for the rookie coming into training camp. Booth and Evans struggled with injuries last season but weren’t effective when they were on the field. Johnson has an outside chance of earning a starting job, but the Vikings invested a third-round pick in Blackmon.
While many believed they reached, Blackman has the tools to prove them wrong and earn a starting role during training camp.