Ever since the Minnesota Vikings traded up to the first round for safety Harrison Smith, most assumed he would be in line to compete for a starting position. Well two weeks into the preseason, Smith has inched closer to calling that spot his own.
Smith will start for the Vikings this Friday against the Buffalo Bills, taking the place of Jamarca Sanford at free safety.
While the move is somewhat expected, Smith still has a ways to go, but defensive coordinator Alan Williams likes what he sees so far:
“He played well, the game wasn’t too big for him. He looked like he belonged out there. Again, we want to see that same thing. Can he get lined up, can he communicate to the defense, can he operate within the defense and can he do that on a consistent basis? When a play comes at him can he make the play?”
This move is inevitable, and with a team reloading as the Vikings are right now, there’s no real reason to hold him back. Unless of course for poor performance.
They drafted Harrison Smith to be their starting free safety for many years to come, not to stand on the sidelines. The same logic was used when Blair Walsh was promoted to starting kicker after veteran Ryan Longwell was released. Why wait to make a player start if that’s your intent for them anyway. Barring again of course, poor performance.
Minnesota needs some new blood in it’s defense and specifically in the secondary. Giving a talented rookie a chance to show what he can do is the right call. It’s a why not situation.
From what I observed from Smith in the first preseason game, he looks to have a good nose for the ball, especially on running plays. He seems like one of those guys who’s in on every play…
Keep your eyes on No. 22 Friday night. It’s time to see what the 23 year old can do in the league.
Check out all the latest NFL Rumors here