Welcome to the seemingly annual "Who will be the Vikings' starting safeties this year?"!!
Harrison Smith: 24 years old. 6'2", 214 pounds.
The good news is that one of the spots is already reserved for Harrison Smith. I gotta say it feels good to know that we have at least on safety of his caliber on the team. Smith can play both the strong and free safety position so this gives the Vikings a little more freedom to decide who will start at the other safety spot.
The other safety spot is a completely different story as it might be the most intense competition for a starting spot on the team. Jamarca Sanford vs. Mistral Raymond has been a long on-going battle, but Robert Blanton might surprise everyone.
Without further ado, let's get down to business! Underneath are the Vikings' options at safety next to Harrison Smith, in order of who will most likely be the starter:
1. Mistral Raymond: 25 years old. 6'1", 202 pounds.
I give Raymond the slight nod over Sanford mainly because he won the battle last season in training camp, and he's the better cover player. Raymond has a lot of potential, but needs to prove that he can stay healthy.
2. Jamarca Sanford: 27 years old. 5'10", 200 pounds.
Sanford's strong sides is his aggressiveness, tackling ability and vocal leadership. Sanford is the "veteran" on a very young safety group. It's though to leave that off the field, but he needs to work on his coverage skills. He's shorter than you'd like, but more durable than Raymond.
3. Robert Blanton: 23 years old. 6'1" 200 pounds.
Blanton played corner in college so it's difficult to predict how he'll play this year after he switched to safety last season as a rookie. He has decent size, good speed, and plays with the intensity you like to see. His previous corner experience might give him the edge over the other guys in the passing game, but for us outsiders; Blanton is simply a joker at this point.
4. Andrew Sendejo: 25 years old. 6'1" 200 pounds.
A valuable special teams player and a nice backup. Sendejo was impressive in the limited time he saw the field. Underrated as a backup and like Blanton; a nice developmental player.
Two seasons ago, I thought Sanford was going to be a bust. He was a weak link on the defense. Last season, he showed a vast improvement. He needs to improve his cover skills, but so does Raymond.
I would like to see Blanton step up, but it is difficult to critique players that have not seen much game action.
Good poll, and nice breakdown, HEY.
Two years ago, Sanford might have been one of the worst players on the team. Last year, he made massive improvements, and hopefully that continues. He won't be a star in this league, but he can be a starter.
purplepride.org is an independent fan site and not associated with the Minnesota Vikings or the NFL (National Football League). All content within this purplepride fan page is provided by, and for, purplepride fans. It represents opinions of the fans who frequent the site and in no way reflect the views of the NFL, Minnesota Vikings, or associated properties. We are not responsible for comments posted by our users, as they are the property of the poster.