The Vikings drafted a cornerback in the first round last Thursday for the first time since they drafted Trae Waynes in 2015.
The arrival of Mike Hughes isn’t a sign that the Vikings are looking to a future without Waynes, however. The Vikings announced on Monday that they have exercised their option on Waynes’ contract for the 2019 season.
The option is guaranteed for injury only and sets Waynes up to make a base salary of just over $9 million.
Iyiegbuniwe (Pronounced: JOEL-from-WEST-ern-ken-TUCK-ee) recorded 116 tackles for the Hilltoppers last season and performed well at the combine. He runs well and can play in space, making him an athletic-upside pick who can be useful in pass coverage. The Bears already drafted a perennial Pro Bowler at linebacker in Roquan Smith. Taking a late-rising project behind him is just gilding the lily.
So adding the 2019 option (guaranteed for injury only) gives them some cost-certainty in a rebuilt secondary. Randall joined first-rounder Denzel Ward and free agent pickups E.J. Gaines, T.J. Carrie, and Terrance Mitchell, for a team that needed the reboot.
Malik Jefferson, Texas: Big 12 defensive player of the year in 2017, his fluid movement and strength led to 110 tackles last season. Athleticism allows him to attack effectively when he’s aimed in correct direction but can work against him when he fails to correctly diagnose a play. Could be another signal Vontaze Burfict is done after Cincinnati added Preston Brown in free agency.
Rasheem Green, DL, Southern California: Pete Carroll picks up a Trojan for a defensive line that lost Michael Bennett and may soon say goodbye to Cliff Avril.
Martinas Rankin, OL, Mississippi State: Houston might try him all along its offensive line, which makes sense because it’s a serious weak spot. That’s dangerous considering QB Deshaun Watson is on the road to recovery following knee surgery.