As many of you are already aware, the Minnesota Vikings saw Duke Shelley move on from the team in free agency, leaving fans with many questions regarding the current status of our cornerbacks.
As of now, the Vikings have five cornerbacks under contract for 2023. The five corners that are currently on the roster are:
- Byron Murphy Jr.
- Akayleb Evans
- Andrew Booth Jr.
- Tay Gowen
- Kalon Barnes
We know what kind of production we will get from Byron Murphy who is one of the best, most versatile coverage corners in all of the league. Other than that, we are left with a bunch of question marks behind Murphy.
Akayleb Evans started two games in 2022 for the Minnesota Vikings, but was hampered by multiple concussions that would eventually end his rookie season. Evans will look to compete against Andrew Booth as the second string corner this offseason as we all hope his injury history is in the past.
Andrew Booth Jr only started one game in his rookie year for the Minnesota Vikings, but played in six total games. He too had his rookie season cut short from a knee injury last year. While coach O’Connell said that Booth’s off season will be spent mostly rehabbing, but also stated that he expects the second year DB to be ready to compete in training camp.
Cornerbacks Tay Gowen and Kalon Barnes have not seen any coverage snaps on defense last year, so I believe the team will look to add more talent either in the draft or free agency.
Rock Ya-Sin could be a name the Vikings should consider bringing in for a look. Ya-Sin was drafted 34 overall to the Indianapolis Colts, but played in Las Vegas last year. Ya-Sin is only 26 years old, and although he only has two career interceptions, at 6 foot and 190 pounds, Ya-Sin plays aggressive man coverage and loves to be physical. That would piece together nicely for our aggressive minded defensive coordinator, Bryan Flores. At this point, Rock Ya-Sin would be competing against the two second year corners on our roster, but competition breeds success, so let’s bring him in.