Vikings 2020 season review: Defensive backs

  • Oops!
    Something went wrong.
    Please try again later.
  • Oops!
    Something went wrong.
    Please try again later.
  • Oops!
    Something went wrong.
    Please try again later.
Jack White
·1 min read
  • Oops!
    Something went wrong.
    Please try again later.
  • Oops!
    Something went wrong.
    Please try again later.
  • Oops!
    Something went wrong.
    Please try again later.

The Vikings retooled their roster last offseason and some of the biggest changes came at defensive backs.

Minnesota saw Xavier Rhodes, Trae Waynes and Mackensie Alexander leave in free agency. Rhodes and Waynes were starters out wide, while Alexander was the team’s nickel corner.

The Vikings saw inconsistency at that position group, so they replaced veterans with less experienced talent. It wasn’t all bad, but it didn’t fully work out.

Mike Hughes struggled to stay on the field. Holton Hill did as well. When Hill was on the field, he was inconsistent, and the Vikings eventually waived him.

It wasn’t the best position group on the team, but there are some positive takeaways. Here is the review:

The good

Photo: AP Photo/Bruce Kluckhohn

Harrison Smith remained one of the best safeties in the NFL last season. Minnesota saw its rookies go through growing pains to start the year, but Cameron Dantzler and Jeff Gladney both made great strides. Dantzler even finished on PFF's All-Rookie team.

The bad

Photo: Jesse Johnson/USA TODAY Sports

Anthony Harris had a down year, finishing with zero interceptions after being tied for the NFL lead in that category the season before. Though he had a down year, it might be hard to keep Harris around this offseason. Dantzler and Gladney showed potential, but neither are stars as of now. Even worse news: In 2020, Rhodes looked like the star he once was in Minnesota. Sure, there are silver linings, but Minnesota probably has to fill some needs at defensive back yet again. If there's a rookie safety instead of Harris, it's not a given that there will be progress in 2021.