5 best position battles for the 2023 Minnesota Vikings
By Nik Edlund
Harrison Smith took a pay cut to come back and have one more run in purple. There's no doubt he'll be a starter and is a perfect fit in Brian Flores' system. Who starts opposite him will be one of the biggest questions heading into camp and throughout it.
The Vikings will give Lewis Cine every opportunity to earn this job. He was Kwesi Adofo-Mensah's first-ever draft choice and he and Kevin O'Connell want him to succeed, especially after a rookie season that was cut short due to injury. It may not even be a fair fight, because Cine panning out and being productive needs to happen in order for fans and ownership to keep their faith in Kwesi.
While Cine may be the favorite, he isn't currently the starter. That role goes to Cam Bynum and he isn't going to lay down his job because Lewis Cine was a first-round pick. Bynum didn't have a flashy season in 2022 but was productive with 81 tackles, six passes defended, and two interceptions. He was solid but unspectacular and it is unclear if that was on him or more a product of the system he was forced to play in.
The other horse in this race is Josh Metellus who played well when pressed into duty and was actually ahead of Cine on the depth chart when he was lost to injury. That being said, he's best as a depth piece and core special teamer.
The safety battle will be a fun one to watch in camp. Lewis Cine will be the favorite to earn that job but Bynum will give it his all to keep his starting spot.