In a division filled with arm strength and quality wide receivers, the Minnesota Vikings and Detroit Lions turn their attention to Michigan State cornerback Trae Waynes as a first round draft pick.
The Vikings need a starting cornerback and Waynes, who was redshirted as a freshman in 2011 before three very solid seasons at East Lansing, will likely be available when they get to make their first pick at number 11. The Lions would like to improve on their depth situation at cornerback and prepare someone to take the place of 35-year old Rashean Mathis, but Waynes might already be gone by the time they make their pick.
The Lions have the 23rd overall selection in this draft, quite unusual for a team that’s been to the playoffs just twice over the last 15 years. They have their starting corners in Darius Slay and Mathis, but it’s often about providing backup when so many injuries happen during the season on both ends of the football.
The current group of subs the Lions have; Bill Bentley, Nevin Lawson and Josh Wilson aren’t bad backup, but they’re much better when used in Nickel packages, and aren’t exactly made for inheriting Mathis’ spot in the defense, which will be opening up pretty soon. Filling his role cheaply through the draft is a priority, but one the Lions might have to wait until the second round to go through with if Waynes isn’t available.
The Vikings are young at cornerback with Captain Munnerlyn (27) and Xavier Rhodes (24), but both players are replaceable or at least not locked in at the starting spot. Waynes might not start immediately for the Vikings, but he’ll probably get a lot more playing time very quickly if the Vikings to select him in order to improve their so-so secondary.