Vikings Trade Up to Select Clemson CB Andrew Booth Jr. At No. 42

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After moving down from 34 to 53, the Vikings jumped up to 42 in a deal with the Colts and landed a borderline first-round talent at their biggest position of need: Clemson cornerback Andrew Booth Jr.

The Vikings sent picks 53, 77, and 192 to Indianapolis for picks 42 and 122 in the deal.

This has a chance to be a steal for the Vikings if Booth can stay healthy. The big concern is his injury history, but past injuries don’t necessarily mean he’ll struggle to stay on the field in the NFL. Consistency was the other issue for Booth at times.

What isn’t in question is Booth’s talent. He was the No. 22 player on The Athletic’s consensus big board and the No. 26 player on Dane Brugler‘s board. Booth is a big, athletic, physical corner who might have the best ball skills of any corner in this class. He can play in a variety of coverages and techniques and shine.

Over the past two seasons at Clemson, Booth record five interceptions, 14 total passes defended, and 5.5 tackles for loss. He plays with a competitive fire and excellent anticipation. Booth was only penalized once in college and is capable of making spectacular plays on the ball due to his tracking ability and hands.

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Here’s the full scouting report from Brugler:

A two-year starter at Clemson, Booth was an outside cornerback in former defensive coordinator Brent Venables’ man and zone schemes, including bail and side-saddle techniques. A former five-star recruit, he blossomed over the last three years for the Tigers and had a strong junior season, including impressive tapes against the two SEC teams on the 2021 schedule (Georgia and South Carolina). Booth stays in phase because of his lower-body quickness and hip-flip skills to mirror routes, staying coordinated in his transitions and in position to make plays on the ball. There is nothing finesse about his play style and he takes his contain responsibilities seriously in the run game, but his downhill aggressiveness makes his tackling an adventure. Overall, Booth’s tape has some volatility and he must mature his feel for spacing, but he has fluid athleticism, finds the football and disrupts the catch point, three important ingredients to playing the position at a high level. He has NFL starting traits (if he stays healthy) and projects best in a man-heavy scheme.     

Booth joins Patrick Peterson and Cameron Dantzler as the top outside cornerbacks on the Vikings’ roster. He has a chance to be a Day 1 starter and a long-term Pro Bowl-caliber player if he stays healthy and puts everything together.

What a start to the draft for the Vikings, who have added two very talented players to their secondary.

Moving back from 34 in a trade with the Packers, getting great value out of it, and then moving back up for Booth is some excellent GM work from Kwesi Adofo-Mensah.

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