Andrew Booth Jr. Drafted by Vikings: Minnesota's Updated Depth Chart After Round 2April 29, 2022
As passing offenses continue to get better across the NFL, adding high-end talent in the secondary is more vital to success on defense than ever before.
The Minnesota Vikings believe they have found a shutdown cornerback after selecting Clemson star Andrew Booth Jr. with the No. 42 pick in the 2022 NFL draft.
Booth appeared in 25 games during his three-year college career. He was named to the All-ACC team in each of the past two seasons, including the first team as a junior in 2021.
Landing a cornerback of Booth's talent can completely transform the Vikings' entire secondary next season.
Here is where their roster stands after adding the 21-year-old:
CB: Patrick Peterson, Nate Hairston, Harrison Hand
CB: Andrew Booth Jr., Cameron Dantzler, Kris Boyd, Tye Smith
SS: Harrison Smith, Josh Metellus
FS: Lewis Cine, Camryn Bynum, Myles Dorn
SCB: Chandon Sullivan, Parry Nickerson
Booth had a productive junior season that saw him move into the upper-echelon of draft-eligible cornerbacks. The Georgia native recorded 37 total tackles, three tackles for loss, five pass breakups and three interceptions.
Looking at what Booth brings to the Vikings, he is ranked as the No. 24 overall player in this year's draft class by B/R's NFL scouting department.
Bleacher Report scout Cody Giddings compared Booth's skill set to Los Angeles Rams cornerback David Long:
"A long strider with above-average speed, Booth occasionally has trouble with his change of direction and breaking, with his top-end speed being a question of concern. There are times when he lacks the crisp breaks desired due to his high pad level.
"Though he has good press-man skills, Booth works best when he can see routes develop in front of him. With the ball in the air, he has shown the ball skills needed to defend short and deep passes as well as the ability to play through the receiver."
One criticism of Booth's game that Giddings cited was questionable tackling ability. Being able to wrap up opposing players instead of trying to dive for their ankles will be crucial as he adjusts to the NFL.
But a cornerback who stands at 6'0" with long limbs and ball skills is hard to find. Getting one on a rookie contract is one of the greatest luxuries in the NFL.
Booth has plenty of experience in big games after playing at Clemson. This stage won't be too big for him as he takes his first steps in his professional career with the Vikings in 2022.