The final group of prospects to arrive to the NFL scouting combine is the defensive backs;of course the grouping involves corner backs, strong safeties and free safeties. Mike Zimmer has been known as a corner back guru of sorts leaving this group filled with intriguing prospects for the Vikings to possibly look at.
In the 2016 NFL Draft, Mackensie Alexander fell out of the first round all the way to Mike Zimmer and his second round pick. Although the Vikings have a steady defensive backfield and larger needs elsewhere, it would not surprise anyone if they took a defensive back in this year’s draft.
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A few of the players listed may be considered a linebacker, cornerback or safety depending on what the team feels after their observations. The Vikings have been known to draft freakishly-athletic players and determine their position later. The players listed below are definitely prospects the Vikings may want to look at for various positions.
Desmond King, Iowa-Every year, a defensive back drops due to their lack of open field speed. Should King drop into the third round, the Vikings may pounce on one of the most pro ready backs coming out of college. King is a four year starter and won the Jim Thorpe Award in 2015 by nabbing eight interceptions. Some scouts believe King is better suited for safety in the NFL yet his tenacity he showed at the Senior Bowl showed he would be just fine at corner.
Adoree’ Jackson, USC-This may be a pipe dream as Jackson may not even be there for the picking by the time the Vikings select in the second round. However, if he was there, Zimmer may want to select him to compete with Captain Munnerlyn(if he returns) and Alexander in the slot.
Jeremy Clark, Michigan-It is unclear if Clark will be participating in drills at the combine due to an ACL tear; he is worth a look nonetheless. However, at six-foot-four-inches tall, he is exactly the type of corner Zimmer would love to develop across from Xavier Rhodes.
Jalen Myrick, Minnesota-Myrick is another corner that may be best suited to move into the slot in the NFL. Although he may move up draft boards due to his blazing speed, the Vikings may get great value for the former Gopher in the later rounds.
Jadar Johnson, Clemson-Explosive is the best way to describe Johnson; he may be the most perfect fit to Zimmer’s system at safety across from Harrison Smith. The only downfall is his lack of experience; he only has one season as a starter at safety.
Josh Harvey-Clemons, Louisville-Zimmer’s propensity for drafting long-limb athletes may filter him towards the former Cardinal. If Harvey-Clemons can perform well at the combine, he may be able to make teams forget about his suspensions and being kicked out of Georgia in 2014.
The Vikings most assuredly have greater needs elsewhere on the roster. However, Zimmer loves to add talented players to the defense regardless of position. Should the players above perform well at the combine, the Vikings may draft one or more of these talented defensive backs.