‘Madden’ Thinks Vikings Cornerbacks Are Downright Bad

Grim Injury News for Vikings CB

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Aug 14, 2022; Paradise, Nevada, USA; Minnesota Vikings cornerback Andrew Booth Jr. (23) in the first half against the Las Vegas Raiders at Allegiant Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports.

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August 14, 2022; Paradise, Nevada, USA; Minnesota Vikings cornerback Andrew Booth Jr. (23) In the first half against the Las Vegas Raiders at Allegiant Stadium. Mandatory credit: Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports.

It cannot be denied that the Minnesota Vikings’ defense was bad in 2022. Ed Donatell’s unit was among the lowest ranked in the NFL, and if it were not for this miraculous comeback, Kevin O’Connell’s first season could have been much worse. In 2023, the cornerback room hasn’t looked much better by Madden 24.

‘Madden’ Thinks Vikings Cornerbacks Are Downright Bad

One of the Vikings’ biggest additions this offseason may come in the form of defensive coordinator Brian Flores. Moving on from Ed Donatell was a must during last season, but Flores brings an opportunity for the unit to at least showcase its potential. While inefficiency was rife throughout the group the previous year, the cornerback position was fractured too often.

It should come as no surprise that the Vikings haven’t made any changes to the group. Grappling with a cash crunch and still looking for development from their youth, Minnesota needs to make big moves already within the organization. Madden doesn’t believe any of them yet, but expects these ratings to trend upward as the year progresses. As good as Madden sees Minnesota’s wideouts, the opposite is true for corners.

Byron Murphy Jr. – 82

September 18, 2022; Paradise, Nevada, USA; Arizona Cardinals cornerback Byron Murphy Jr. (7) Celebrates after scoring on a 59-yard fumble recovery in overtime against the Las Vegas Raiders at Allegiant Stadium. Mandatory credit: Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports.

Patrick Peterson is gone, and while he is 85th overall to his new Pittsburgh Steelers teammates, the Vikings snapped up veteran Murphy Jr. As the voice leading your group. He will factor in as a nickel corner, and one might expect him to generate half the value of what Peterson did a season ago.

Andrew Booth Jr. – 72

Murphy Jr. takes a huge fall on the back, but Booth Jr. Minnesota is fastest in the corners. He was seen as a value play coming out of the draft last year, and that could still be true if he stays healthy and available.

John Williams – 72

As a free agent this offseason, Williams checks in alongside Booth Jr. The advantage is substantial for the former, but it shows some desire from Minnesota to play at a reasonable level every week.

Mekhi Blackmon – 71

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Rookie minicamp highlights from Minnesota Vikings cornerback Mekhi Blackmon’s first practice as a Viking after being selected in the 2023 NFL Draft. Blackmon is a cornerback from USC drafted by Minnesota in Round 3 of the 2023 NFL Draft.

A rookie stepping in and hoping to make an immediate impact, Blackmon should have ample opportunity to compete. Then again, the Vikings cornerback room is nothing to write home about, and Blackmon can certainly establish himself as a capable playmaker.

Aqaleb Evans – 68

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October 16, 2022; Miami Gardens, Florida, USA; Minnesota Vikings cornerback Akaleb Evans (21) after a game against the Miami Dolphins at Hard Rock Stadium. Mandatory credit: Rich Story-USA TODAY Sports.

Evans had a coming-out party last year against the Washington Commanders, but was then nursing an injury and was largely unavailable. If he can return to full health, that rating should rise substantially, and Flores will find himself leaning on Evans more often in coverage.

Tai Govan (65), Kalon Barnes (64)

This pairing leaves a lot to be desired, and it remains to be seen which one of them will actually make a dent in the active roster. Either way, there’s a big difference between number one for Minnesota and number two after the following four options. Madden knows it, and you know it too.

In case you’re wondering, fan favorite Duke Shelley is 74 overall for the Las Vegas Raiders.

Ted Schwarzler is a blogger from the Twin Cities focused on all things Minnesota Twins and Minnesota Vikings. he is active Twitter and writes weekly for twin daily, As a former college athlete and avid sports fan, covering our pro teams with passion has always seemed like a natural outlet.

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