Yesterday we previewed the offensive side of the ball, now let’s switch sides without a turnover on downs, shall we?
The defense this year had its moments when you watched but injuries and aging veterans made it tough to watch most of the time. As discussed in the offensive preview, the Senior Bowl is prime cannon fodder for a team’s roster and on the defensive side especially this week can be a coming-out party for so many.
Corners get to do one on ones that don’t hurt them, they are set up for failure more times than not, but more so it helps sort them to see what roles they can find success in. As for defensive linemen, they too get to do one on ones but it is much more of an even playing field and allows them to really set themselves apart.
Those two positions are going to be big for the Vikings this season and beyond as the league continues to pride itself as pass-happy. Trevor Sikkema said it best this week, the NFL is in a constant arms race, defending those arms need to be every team’s priority, and here are five names for the Vikings and its fans to follow this week.
Cameron Thomas, Edge, San Diego State
Hockey player turned football player, Cameron Thomas has adjusted quickly and efficiently to the point he was the mountain west defensive player of the year and has now become a Senior Bowl member. Thomas has shown a knack for winning one on one battles with college tackles with a large toolset of abilities and you would have every right to think he can do that at the next level. His speed rush and hand fighting will be put to the test in Mobile this week so be sure to follow his progress this coming week.
Roger McCreary, CB, Auburn
A slight loser already for the week due to his arms being shorter than what is ideal for a corner, McCreary is still getting some late first to mid-second round hype and in that range, he would be a perfect Viking. The former general manager had a revolving door of picks and signings at the corner position, most recently with Mike Hughes and Patrick Peterson. McCreary may not be a number one corner for the team now or in the future but just like teams have a revolving door of receiving weapons, they also need a revolving door of corners. A solid depth option for a team in desperate need of quality corners top to bottom.
Coby Bryant, CB, Cincinnati
The basketball version of Shaquille O’Neal and Kobe Bryant saw Bryant live in the shadow of O’Neal’s stardom, the same can be said for the football version. At Cincinnati, Sauce Gardner was the Shaquille O’Neal to Coby Bryant’s…Kobe Bryant didn’t get the first-round hype but he has put in the work to where he can thrive on his own.
Gardner was avoided like Wesley Snipes avoided his taxes for a while and because of that Bryant saw way more work and way more targets which sets him up for a chance to thrive in one on ones this week.