In the first round of the 2022 NFL Draft, the Minnesota Vikings selected safety Lewis Cine. They traded down to grab him and expected he’d pair nicely next to perennial Pro Bowler Harrison Smith. After sitting out Week 1, he’ll be all systems go against the Eagles.
Although the Minnesota Vikings initial depth chart listed Camryn Bynum as the starter alongside Smith, general manager Kwesi Adofo-Mensah has to be hoping his first-ever draft pick will break through and look like a solid selection.
Bynum was a 4th round selection in the 2021 NFL draft and has risen to a starter under new head coach Kevin O’Connell. Bynum showed up plenty in the box score on Sunday, recording seven tackles (four solo) against the Green Bay Packers.
It remains to be seen what the split for the two players will be, but with Lewis Cine reportedly a full go in Thursday’s practice, there should be no limit to his reps on Monday night. Cine has long been heralded as a hitter out of Georgia. He should pair nicely with Smith once he settles into the speed of the next level, but there’s no denying he was at a similar level playing in the SEC.
The Vikings have rotated players alongside Smith for quite some time now. Anthony Harris had a breakout year, and Andrew Sendejo got plenty of run, but it’s primarily been the former Golden Domer that’s held things down at the back of the secondary. With Smith coming to the tail end of his career, it would be a welcomed development for Minnesota to usher in another superstar talent to learn from one of the best.
Ted Schwerzler is a blogger from the Twin Cities that is focused on all things Minnesota Twins and Minnesota Vikings. He’s active on Twitter and writes weekly for Twins Daily. As a former college athlete and avid sports fan, covering our pro teams with a passion has always seemed like such a natural outlet.