Camryn Bynum

Latest On Vikings Rookies Lewis Cine, Andrew Booth

The Vikings used their top two selections in this year’s draft to bolster their secondary, though the prospects they landed may not be seeing major snaps right away. According to Chris Tomasson of the St. Paul Pioneer Press, neither safety Lewis Cine nor cornerback Andrew Booth are likely to play starting roles to begin the season. 

Cine went No. 32 overall, the slot Minnesota took over as a result of their swap with the Lions which allowed Detroit to move up to the 12th position. The fifth and final member of Georgia’s elite defense to hear their name called on Day 1, Cine was a key contributor on the backend for the Bulldogs throughout his three-year college career.

Taking a step forward with each successive campaign, the six-foot-one, 200-pounder totaled 73 tackles last season, adding an interception and nine pass breakups. Known more for his physicality than his range or ball skills (dropping him below the likes of Kyle Hamilton and Daxton Hill in the position’s draft rankings), Cine has been competing with 2021 fourth-rounder Camryn Bynum for a first-team role. It appears the latter will get the nod to partner with Harrison Smith at least to start the season.

Booth was also selected in the wake of a trade, but in his case, the Vikings moved up to secure him. Hernia surgery may have hurt his draft stock, as he was considered a borderline first-rounder, but the Clemson product is healthy in time for Week 1. He registered 37 tackles (including three for a loss), along with five passes defensed in his final year with the Tigers.

He also ranked tied for second in the ACC with three interceptions, showcasing his ball skills which, combined with his athletic profile, give him a high upside. Instead of Booth, though, the Vikings are poised to use 2020 third-rounder Cameron Dantzler (who almost found himself being traded last offseason) as a bookend to Patrick Peterson on the perimeter.

The Vikings’ pass defense ranked 28th last season, allowing 253 yards per game through the air. While that makes their commitments to Cine and Booth understandable, familiar faces will prevent them from seeing full-time duty to start their respective careers.

NFC North Notes: Lions, Bears, OTAs, Rookies, Packers, Vikings

The Lions recently detailed a number of updates to their front office. Included among them is new titles being given to members of both the player personnel and football operations departments.

Lance Newmark is now the team’s senior director of player personnel, a slightly different job title than the one he had held since 2017 as the head of that department. The veteran executive has spent all but two of his 26 years in the NFL with the Lions, and was a candidate for Detroit’s GM position, which ultimately went to Brad Holmes. He was also linked to the GM job with the Jets prior to that.

Another notable change is the promotion of Mike Disner to chief operating officer. He had previously served as the team’s VP of football and business administration, playing a key role across a number of departments in the organization. He has spent the past three years in Detroit, having been hired as the replacement for Matt Harriss after a stint in Arizona.

Here are a few other notes from around the NFC North:

  • The Bears forfeited one of their OTA practices earlier this month, as detailed by Dan Wiederer of the Chicago Tribune (subscription required). The team held May practices which involved live contact, something prohibited by the CBA. Wiederer reports that the Bears were “requested to alter their practice activity,” but because the staff now led by Matt Eberflus didn’t do so, the team became subject to that minor penalty.
  • The Packers took not one, but two, former Georgia defenders in the first round of the draft in April. Their top selection, linebacker Quay Walker, has immediately seen practice time alongside starter De’Vondre Campbell. As noted by Rob Demovsky in an ESPN breakdown of first-rounders, Walker’s significant presence in both base and sub packages suggests he could start immediately.
  • In that same piece, Demovsky’s colleague Kevin Seifert writes that another former Bulldog, safety Lewis Cine, is pushing for a spot with the Vikings’ first-team defense. The No. 32 pick is in competition with Camryn Bynum for a starting role, but his ascension to that spot “appears inevitable” after his showing this spring.

NFL COVID-19 List Updates: 1/3/22

Here are Monday’s activations from and placements on the reserve/COVID-19 lists:

Carolina Panthers

Chicago Bears

Cincinnati Bengals

Denver Broncos

Detroit Lions

Green Bay Packers

Houston Texans

Indianapolis Colts

Kansas City Chiefs

  • Activated from reserve/COVID-19 list: OT Mike Remmers (remains on IR)

Las Vegas Raiders

Los Angeles Chargers

Los Angeles Rams

  • Activated from reserve/COVID-19 list: RB Raymond Calais (remains on IR)

Miami Dolphins

Minnesota Vikings

New England Patriots

New Orleans Saints

New York Jets

Philadelphia Eagles

Pittsburgh Steelers

San Francisco 49ers

Seattle Seahawks

Tennessee Titans

Washington Football Team

Vikings Sign First-Round Pick Christian Darrisaw

The Vikings have their first-round pick under contract. According to Josh Alper of Pro Football Talk, Minnesota has signed No. 23 overall selection Christian Darrisaw.

Darrisaw, a Virginia Tech product, is likely to become the Vikes’ starting left tackle right away. The team had a major need there after parting ways with Riley Reiff this offseason, and Darrisaw has a high floor thanks to his natural athleticism and the proficiency he has already displayed as both a pass-blocker and run-blocker. Some scouting reports suggest he will need to do a better job of finishing his blocks at the professional level, but there is no reason to believe he won’t develop that ability with time.

The Vikings originally held the No. 14 overall pick, and they discussed trading up from that spot in an effort to land quarterback Justin Fields. Ultimately, the Bears beat them to the punch by jumping up from the No. 20 selection to No. 11 — a move that required the forfeiture of a 2022 first-rounder — and with Fields and Northwestern LT Rashawn Slater off the board, Minnesota GM Rick Spielman dropped from No. 14 to No. 23.

However, as we later learned, Spielman was prepared to trade back up from No. 23 to make sure he landed Darrisaw (as Chris Tomasson of the St. Paul Pioneer Press writes, Minnesota may have made an offer to the Raiders, who were holding the No. 17 pick). Ultimately, Spielman was able to keep the draft capital he acquired as part of his trade down while still getting the former Hokie to protect Kirk Cousins‘ blind side.

In addition to Darrisaw, the Vikings have signed fourth-round selection Camryn Bynum. Bynum, a cornerback out of California-Berkeley, was one of three fourth-rounders for the Vikings this year. Minnesota just traded fellow corner Mike Hughes to the Chiefs, thereby giving Bynum a bit of a better shot at immediate playing time. Over 42 collegiate games, he tallied 184 total tackles (eight TFL) and six interceptions.