Vikings may start all-rookie, all-Irish safety tandem

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The Vikings traded up into the first round to draft Notre Dame safety Harrison Smith, so they clearly expect him to be an opening day starter.

The Vikings also used a fifth-round pick on Smith’s college teammate, Robert Blanton. Blanton played corner for the Fighting Irish, but has been converted to safety. Blanton possesses safety size at 6-foot-1, 208, and was one of the best tackling defensive backs in college football last season.

Blanton and Smith and are working as the Vikings’ first-team safeties at rookie minicamp, and Dan Wiederer of the Minneapolis Star-Tribune suggests Smith and Blanton could stay there into Week One. Their primary competitors will be underwhelming veterans Jamarca Sanford and Mistral Raymond.

“If you take a look at where we ended the seas0n at the safety position, it’s an open competition,” coach Leslie Frazier confirmed. “… We want to really have an open competition.”

45 responses to “Vikings may start all-rookie, all-Irish safety tandem

  1. They may eventually be great players, even as rookies, but I nonethelesss suspect that Aaron Rodgers and Jermicheal Finley like this prospect for 2012.

  2. Really!!!!!!
    They may end up being good, but playing two rookie safetys in our division may not be a wise choice. I hope they do it for the sake of GB.

  3. I wouldn’t exactly call Mistral Raymond underwhelming….maybe a lack of offseason stunted his ability to get the hang of the defensive scheme, but it’s clear he has talent….in just a few starts he had a pick and a fumble recovery. My guess is Raymond is a day one starter…his biggest issue is adding a bit of upper body bulk…but he has speed, height and makes plays on the ball.

  4. vikesfan67 says: May 5, 2012 12:53 PM

    None of it really matters if they can’t get a new stadium deal done…!!!!!

    True ,No Stadium = San Antonio Vikings … Yes All of you have forgotten the Alamo Dome !!!!!! They could simply move right in since their is No Lease or anything keeping the Vikes in Minnesota… and the league has already approved the required waiver for the Feb deadline which means it no longer applies ….

  5. Those guys got burnt playing against purdue, navy, and south Florida. I’m sure Aaron Rodgers and stafford will have trouble.

  6. Their pass defense will be abused historically. Stafford and Rodgers along with Cutler throwing to his new weapons, Minnesota can get to the quarterback but they have nothing resembling a secondary. Is 5000 yards and 50 TD’s given up out of the question?

  7. Denard Robinson went the length of the field in, like, the final 9 seconds against that secondary. I’m sure they’ll have no issues with Rodgers, Cutler or Stafford.

  8. Instead of Blanton, to go with Smith, they should have drafted a guy named Wesson.

  9. They’ll probably be quite comfortable playing in Minny. From one frozen tundra hellhole to another…

  10. Well, having a horrible secondary is not the end of the world. Hell, my Packers went 15-1 and did very, very well against the eventu…………wait, what?

    Oh, scratch that.

    You’re doomed.

  11. skinsdan says:
    May 5, 2012 12:46 PM
    I’m sure they’ll be overrated just like their alma matar.

    You should not make fun of any higher education and then misspell Alma Mater.

  12. As bad as their secondary was in 2011, I have a tough time believing that this could be any worse. I suspect that one of the existing safties will likely beat out Blanton, but I’m expecting Smith to start from day 1, and I expect that to be an upgrade…

    What I’m surprised hasn’t happened yet is to have winfield move to safety as he’d probably be an above average one. With Carr, Robinson, and Cook, I think the CB position should be fairly decent.

  13. This is what happens when Tebow comes into your place and shreds you from the pocket.

  14. It seems easy to throw dirt at the Vikings secondary but they were decimated by injuries last year.

    Yes, they were terrible I am not trying to cover that up but at one point last year we were starting something like Asher Allen, Benny Sapp, Jamarca Samford and Mistral Raymond. Raymond appeared to be the most talented as a rookie, converted from CB to safety, without a full offseason because of the lockout.

    Seriously, there is no way our secondary could possibly be worse than last year.

  15. @ 805_9ers good one bet luck gonna need luck when he on his back with Jared Allen on top of him am pretty sure the Vikings are pondering how to dismantle his luck too lol

  16. The new DC claim to fame is to have young DBs ready to play, guess he will have to earn his paycheck. Reminds of the 49ers with Lott’s rookie year, when they started 3 rookies. It will be interesting to see how they respond.

  17. As long as they can “digest” the playbook, there should be nothing stopping these two from taking both starting spots.

    The Vikes didn’t completely rebuild in one year, but they are making some progress. Their offensive line looks better. That should help both the passing game and the running game. With the offensive controlling a little more of the clock, it will take pressure off the D. The secondary should be improved.

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