Grantland: Vikings secondary ready to become one of NFL's best - Bring Me The News

Grantland: Vikings secondary ready to become one of NFL's best


Vikings coach Mike Zimmer is known for secondary play. Everywhere he has coached, he has brought improvement to a team's secondary and it looks like he's doing it again with the Vikings.

The Vikings have spent three first0round picks on their secondary since 2012.

In 2012, they selected Harrison Smith at No. 29. In 2013, they went cornerback at No. 25 and selected Xavier Rhodes and again in 2015, the Vikings went to the well and selected cornerback Trae Waynes out of Michigan State with the 11th pick.

In addition to those moves, the Vikings have signed veteran corners in each of the last two seasons bringing over Captain Munnerlyn as a free agent from Carolina before the 2014 season and signed Terrence Newman from Cincinnati this year.

Is the Vikings secondary ready to emerge as one of the best in the NFL?

Grantland writer Robert Mays seems to think so – the website says the Vikings secondary could challenge Seattle as the NFL's best.

"Former first-round pick Xavier Rhodes is set to take a giant leap right into the class occupied by players like Desmond Trufant, Vonte Davis and Jimmy Smith. If all breaks the right way, Trae Waynes will be a reliable No. 2 corner by the end of the season.

The 11th overall pick has some work to do before he's there, but Minnesota's plan isn't hard to see: The Vikings know they have the pieces in place, and with the talent and depth they have in the front four, they were another high-quality cornerback away from having a top-level pass defense."

Even before Minnesota added Waynes early in the draft, there were signs the secondary was showing big improvement under Mike Zimmer. The Vikings improved from the 30th-ranked pass defense in the league in 2013, to 19th in Zimmer's first year in 2014.

They also intercepted 13 passes last season – equal to the number of passes Seattle's pass defense took away.

Additionally, Minnesota ranked 11th in points allowed and ranked ninth by recording 41 sacks last year.

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