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If Vikings Go Corner… Don’t Get Your Hopes Up Too High

It doesn’t take much mock draft perusing to see that the consensus choice for the Vikings first round pick seems to be cornerback (especially if you disregard all those bozos that think Clausen falls to them at 30.)

The Vikings need for cornerbacks is both on a short-term and long-term level.  Most reasons given for corner being a first round priority, however, are short-term reasons revolving around Cedric Griffin’s ACL injury.

Outside of Darrell Revis, I was having trouble thinking of any first round cornerbacks that had a major impact in their rookie season.  Let’s look at what I found.

2009 DRAFT

Malcolm Jenkins – Selected by the Saints #14 overall

  • Played in 14 games, started 6
  • 55 tackles
  • 1 interception, 2 forced fumbles, 0 sacks
  • 4 passes defended

Vontae Davis – Selected by Dolphins #25 overall

  • Played in 16 games, started 9
  • 51 tackles
  • 4 interceptions, 0 forced fumbles, 0 sacks
  • 11 passes defended

2008 DRAFT

Leodis McKelvin – Selected by Bills #11 overall

  • Played in 16 games, started 6
  • 32 tackles
  • 2 interceptions, 1 forced fumble, 0 sacks
  • 5 passes defended

Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie – Selected by Cardinals #16

  • Played in 16 games, started 11
  • 42 tackles
  • 4 interceptions, 0 forced fumbles, 0 sacks
  • 19 passes defended

Aqib Talib – Selected by Bucs #20 overall

  • Played in 15 games, started 2
  • 23 tackles
  • 4 interceptions, 0 forced fumbles, 0 sacks
  • 9 passes defended

Mike Jenkins – Selected by Cowboys #25 overall

  • Played in 14 games, started 3
  • 19 tackles
  • 1 interception, 0 forced fumbles, 0 sacks
  • 4 passes defended

Antoine Cason – Selected by Chargers #27 overall

  • Played in 16 games, started 3
  • 74 tackles
  • 2 interceptions, 1 forced fumble, 0 sacks
  • 7 passes defended

2007 DRAFT

Darelle Revis – Selected by Jets #14 overall

  • Played in 16 games, started 16
  • 74 tackles
  • 3 interceptions, 1 forced fumble, 0 sacks
  • 17 passes defended

Leon Hall – Selected by Bengals #18 overall

  • Played in 16 games, started 10
  • 54 tackles
  • 5 interceptions, 1 forced fumbles, 0 sacks
  • 12 passes defended

Aaron Ross – Selected by Giants #20 overall

  • Played in 15 games, started 9
  • 35 tackles
  • 3 interceptions, 0 forced fumbles, 1.5 sacks
  • 17 passes defended

So, what do these last three years teach us?  Well, the average first round corner:

  • Can play an entire season
  • Starts for half their rookie season
  • Notches 47 tackles
  • Picks off 3 passes
  • Causes minimal fumbles or sacks
  • Breaks up 10 passes

I think it is safe to say that Cedric Griffin would be considered a fairly average NFL cornerback on many accounts.  Let’s take a look at what his 2009 numbers were:

  • Played and started an entire season
  • Had 78 tackles
  • Had 4 interceptions, 3 forced fumbles, and 0 sacks
  • Had 6 passes defended

I’m not even really too sure what I’m getting at here, other than I wouldn’t advise Vikings fans to expect a major upgrade to the secondary if the Vikings draft a corner in the first round… at least in the short-term.

I have heard some rumors about the Vikings inquiring about the availability of Asante Samuel (who I don’t think is a great fit in the cover-2).  Getting a proven veteran instead of a rookie would go a long ways towards helping the short-term need, but would jeopardize the long-term stability of the team.

The best case scenario is for both Antoine Winfield and Cedric Griffin to get back to their normal form, have Asher Allen and Benny Sapp step up in a big way, and have a rookie or two providing depth and gaining experience.  To ask for anything more would be incredibly unrealistic.

(UPDATE:  It is important for me to note that the Asante Samuel rumor I heard is just that, a rumor.  Do not put much stock into it yet, but the idea of trading for a proven vet is an interesting one.)


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7 Responses to “If Vikings Go Corner… Don’t Get Your Hopes Up Too High”

  1. Brandon says:

    Where have you heard the Vikings have inquired about the availability of Asante Samuel?

    • Adam Warwas says:

      from someone with no credibility whatsoever, as far as I am concerned. I don’t necessarily think the Samuel thing is true or a good thing, but the concept of bringing in a proven vet is interesting.

  2. Lost Viking says:

    Packer need is OT, however, there’s been a lot of talk about how the top four OTs are off the board at # 23. The speculation is Packer will wait for 2nd round for OT and select either an OLB or Cornerback.

    Many draft analysts have Devin McCourty going to the Pack. Thereafter, there doesn’t seem to be a team with 1st round CB intent until Vike at # 30. However, the draft never plays out as you expect.

  3. GB Nordic says:

    The VIkes will more than likely draft a corner, because it is one of the glaring needs on the Vikes defense. I would prefer Kyle Wilson(Eagle will nab him @24), but Devin McCourty could be a serviceable CB.

  4. Norseman66 says:

    I for one, hope that McCourty is their at #30, if not, then I would definitely take Kareem Jackson.

  5. ssnova44 says:

    Cornerback has been a black hole for too many years for the Vikings. When is the last time they had a cornerback that they drafted even make the pro bowl….for the Vikes or any team thereafter?

  6. MarkSP18 says:

    The first year will be a learning experience for any CB we draft and they should really only see time in the DIME package. Maybe some nickel here and there when guys get dinged up a bit.

    But how many Pro Bowl CBs are there that were not drafted in the first round? Some but not many.

    The guy I am hoping for is Brandon Ghee at #30. He is fast as McCourty and he is taller and does a better job at tackling. McCourty is more of a drag down type tackler which could be improved. But Ghee can play safety too. He may end up being the free safety when all is said and done.

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