The Vikings have been ravaged at cornerback, missing four players at the position on Wednesday, which prompted the franchise to poach an athletic talent from the Las Vegas Raiders practice squad.
Second-year cornerback Dylan Mabin was signed to the Vikings’ active roster on Wednesday, his agent reported. Mabin was undrafted last year and spent the 2019 season on the Raiders practice squad. He remained in good standing with the team, however, the 23-year-old cornerback agreed to the Vikings’ offer with a chance to play in his first NFL game shortly with the rash of injuries to the Vikings cornerbacks room.
Mike Hughes is currently on the injured reserve list with a neck injury and is unavailable until at least Week 10 and could potentially miss the remainder of the season, per the Pioneer Press’ Chris Tomasson. Fellow third-year cornerback Holton Hill has missed a month of action and three games with a foot injury.
Second-year corner Mark Fields II suffered a punctured lung against the Packers last week and is expected to miss two to three weeks, while rookie Cameron Dantzler did not practice after suffering a concussion on a scary injury at Lambeau Field on Sunday.
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Mabin, A Small School Standout
A three-year starter at Fordham, Mabin has the physical tools to become a prototype cornerback in the NFL and, if he can adjust to steeper competition, could see longevity as a pro.
Standing 6-foot, 196-pounds, Mabin is a size and speed corner with a 4.41 40-yard dash time that has helped him become an intimidator when closing in on the catch.
In 2017, Mabin totaled 19 passes defended as a junior and followed up with a more rounded senior year, producing 2.5 tackles for loss, one interception and 11 passes defended. He earned first-team All-Patriot League honors in 2018.
Mabin’s biggest weakness that has kept him from the playing field has been his ability to stay in phase during press coverage, per Silver and Black Pride. The separation he allowed in college may not be as forgiving against faster and more talented competition, however, under coach Mike Zimmer’s tutelage, Mabin could develop into a regular contributor in time.
Cornerbacks Available For Lions Game
Mabin likely won’t be available on Sunday against the Lions as he’ll be required to undergo coronavirus protocols in the following days after his signing.
Former Lions and Cardinals cornerback Chris Jones will likely make his Vikings debut if none of the injured Vikings corners’ statuses improve. He was signed last week after Dantzler was placed on the COVID-19 reserve list. Jones has played in 14 games, starting in three, since entering the league in 2018.
Jones joins first-round rookie Jeff Gladney, fifth-rounder Harrison Hand and second-year cornerback Kris Boyd as the only healthy members of the cornerbacks group left in the lineup.
Boyd went out late in the fourth quarter of the Packers game with cramps, which led the safety Anthony Harris taking snaps in the slot while rookie safety Josh Metellus took over his role at free safety in nickel packages.
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- Trevor Squire is a Heavy contributor covering the Minnesota Vikings and journalism graduate from the University of Minnesota — Twin Cities. Connect with him on Twitter @trevordsquire and join our Vikings community at Heavy on Vikings on Facebook.