Patrick Peterson Sounds off on ‘Perfect’ Draft Prospect for Vikings

Ravens Derek Stingley

Getty LSU cornerback Derek Stingley reacts to a play during a September 2021 game.

Despite the Minnesota Vikings signing four cornerbacks in free agency this offseason, veteran Patrick Peterson still sees the position as a top priority in the upcoming draft.

After announcing he would return to Minnesota for the 2022 season on Wednesday, March 30, Peterson, an eight-time Pro Bowler, weighed in on the Vikings’ draft needs and deemed one first-round cornerback prospect a “perfect” fit for the Vikings.

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Patrick Peterson Sees Promise in Derrick Stingley Jr.

PATRICK PETERSON IS CONFIDENT VIKINGS WILL DRAFT A CORNERBACK IN THE FIRST ROUNDPatrick Peterson shares what he thinks the Vikings will do in the 2022 NFL Draft. #Vikings #NFL #PatrickPeterson #DerekStingley #MockDraft #NFLMockDraft #AllThingsCovered SUBSCRIBE TO THIS CHANNEL: Visit the CBS Sports Store to buy All Things Covered merch: AUDIO 'All Things Covered' is available on Apple Podcasts, Spotify, Stitcher, Google Podcasts and wherever else…2022-03-31T04:00:27Z

Peterson, who had remained in contact with the front office throughout free agency, proposed LSU cornerback Derrick Stingley Jr. would be a “perfect” get for Minnesota.

“I think they’re definitely going to draft a corner at some point,” Peterson said on the All Things Covered podcast, adding that Stingley Jr., who is connected to the Vikings, could be in play for Minnesota with the No. 12 overall pick. “I think he would fit in great. Coming in being able to have a strong force into the defense at an early age right out of the gate. He has that type of potential. When he gets on the football field, and he’s healthy and all locked in, he’s one of the best to ever do it on the college level.”

Stingley Jr. appeared on Peterson’s podcast earlier this year. The two cornerbacks spoke at length about playing the position at a high level, a conversation that left an impact on Peterson.

“If he’s there, I think he’d be a perfect match. His ball skills. His athletic ability. He has the total package,” Peterson said of Stingley Jr. “He reminds me a lot of myself when I was in school: just how agile he is at the line, how physical he is at the line of scrimmage, his press technique, how he’s able to locate the ball when he’s not looking at the quarterback… Those are some of the things that may seem little, but it goes a long way, and it’s a difference between intercepting the ball and a guy catching the ball on you. He’s a special one, man. I can’t wait to see how his career is going to unfold at the next level.”

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Vikings Positioned to Take Best Player Available

While the consensus in mock drafts this offseason has left the impression the Vikings will draft a cornerback, recent signings by general manager Kwesi Adofo-Mensah have positioned Minnesota to take the best player available in the upcoming draft.

The Vikings have a stable of cornerbacks after adding four veterans in Peterson, Nate Hairston, Tye Smith and Chandon Sullivan during free agency. The pass rush has been reinforced with the acquisition of Za’Darius Smith and the offensive line has free-agent additions of Chris Reed and Jesse Davis.

All areas could use some reinforcements, but the moves in free agency have given Minnesota flexibility to take the best player available in the draft. A dozen experts have predicted the Vikings to pick a cornerback in the upcoming draft, per All but one expert has mocked Minnesota a defensive player in the upcoming draft.

Some names in play currently: Stingley, Trent McDuffie (CB, Washington), Jordan Davis (DT, Georgia), Tyler Linderbaum (C, Iowa), Jeremiah Johnson II (EDGE, Florida State), Ahmad Gardner (CB, Cincinnati), Kaiir Elam (CB, Florida).

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