Patrick Peterson gives his verdict on playing for the Vikings in 2022
The emerging consensus for the Minnesota Vikings in the 2022 NFL Draft is the need for a 1st round cornerback. While it could still happen, the franchise could be deeper at cornerback for 2022 depth than people thought a week ago.
Patrick Peterson signed with the Vikings in 2021 – out of nowhere on St. Patrick’s Day – entering the second chapter of his career looking like a defense led by Mike Zimmer. He performed well, earning a score of 63.0 from Focus on professional football and was the Vikings’ only reliable corner all season, although Peterson missed around a month through injury. Cameron Dantzler spent the start of 2021 locked in Zimmer’s doghouse, Bashaud Breeland was mostly bad and controversial, and Mackensie Alexander also struggled.
As the 2022 offseason hit, it was unclear whether Peterson would re-sign with Minnesota, particularly because Zimmer was fired Jan. 10. Dantzler appeared to be the only viable starting cornerback under contract for the 2022 season.
Well, the path to a Peterson sequel was set on Friday. Area Cover’s Luke Braun caught up with Peterson, asking him about his desire to return to Minnesota in 2022. Peterson replied with a simple Yes wanting to come back.
Peterson’s assurance of wanting to play for the Vikings again is significant because it indicates the need for another cornerback isn’t an urgent, guttural matter. Indeed, new general manager Kwesi Adofo-Mensah will likely sign another startable corner in free agency or the draft in April, but the requirement is watered down. The 2022 defense wouldn’t be pitiful with Dantzler and Peterson as CB1 and CB2.
On the Vikings’ presumed radar for the draft if they still pursue a 1st-round cornerback are Ahmad Gardner (Cincinnati), Derek Stingley Jr. (LSU) and Andrew Booth Jr. (Clemson) with the 12th overall pick . Through free agency, men like JC Jackson of the New England Patriots will be available.
But a Peterson-Dantzler combination ensures Minnesota could fill a depth chart with other corners, allowing a recruit to develop. Additionally, Harrison Hand and Kris Boyd will be on the depth chart if they survive the roster cuts at the end of the summer.
Regardless of the names in the CB section of the depth chart, Minnesota will be led by brand new leadership. Kevin O’Connell will officially be named head coach early next week, and he’s reportedly already added veteran defensive coordinator Ed Donatell to his team. The alleged hiring of Donatell should return the Vikings defense to respectability.
The last two years have been difficult defensively because the Vikings have always melted at the end of the halves.
Peterson turns 32 in July and has been selected to eight Pro Bowls and three 1st-team All-Pro teams during his 11-season career.
Dustin Baker is a political scientist who graduated from the University of Minnesota in 2007. He host a podcast with Bryant McKinnie, airing every Wednesday with Raun Saw and Sally from Minneapolis. His Viking fandom dates back to 1996. Guilty pleasures listed: Peanut Butter Ice Cream, “The Sopranos” and The Doors (the band).