Vikings Sign Ex-Packers Cornerback With Breakneck Speed: Report

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Photo courtesy of Evan Siegle, Green Bay Packers The Vikings signed former Packers cornerback Parry Nickerson on Mondy.

Minnesota Vikings coach Mike Zimmer reasserted one of his major tenants after the team traded 2018 first-round pick Mike Hughes to the Kansas City Chiefs last week.

“We were fortunate to get a couple corners last year in the draft, we signed Patrick Peterson in free agency, so I think that gave us an opportunity to make the trade,” Zimmer said. “But as far as our corner depth, honestly, you guys laugh at me, but you can never have too many good corners. They just get hurt.”

Zimmer’s comment did not fall on deaf ears within the organization as Minnesota signed former Green Bay Packers cornerback Parry Nickerson on Monday. Nickerson, 26, enters his fourth year as a pro as a former sixth-round pick by the New York Jets.

Nickerson’s signing comes in the shadow of 2020 first-round pick Jeff Gladney’s ongoing legal issues. Gladney faces felony assault charges after an arrest last month. His availability for the 2021 season remains in question — leaving a possible roster spot available for Nickerson.

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Nickerson: An NFL Journeyman

Nickerson ran a 4.32 40-time out of college that was the fastest time at the NFL Combine and ranked in the 97th percentile of his draft class, per Mockdraftable.com.

He showed a knack as a ball hawk in Tulane’s defense, securing six interceptions his sophomore and senior seasons and four picks his junior year as the program’s second all-time leader in interceptions. He was also third in pass breakups.


Parry Nickerson || Humble || ElitehighlightParry Nickerson DB#172018-04-16T21:52:49Z

Few fourth-year players have bounced around the NFL like Nickerson.

Nickerson played in all 16 games his rookie season in New York, starting in two of them. He had occasional rookie moments and lapses of judgment in with a turbulent Jets franchise that, under first-year general manager Joe Douglas, traded Nickerson to the Seattle Seahawks the following year. He spent the first four weeks of the 2019 season with the Seahawks before the Jacksonville Jaguars signed him off the practice squad, offering what Nickerson was after — more playing time. He appeared in four games in 2019.

Nickerson, who was placed on the COVID-19 list during training camp last summer, was a final cut by the Jaguars and picked up by the Packers days later. Nickerson suffered a season-ending hamstring injury against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers last season in his only appearance.

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Nickerson’s Elite Speed Offers Versatility

An undersized cornerback at 5-foot-10, 182 pounds out of college, Nickerson was poised to compete for a starting nickel cornerback job. Mackensie Alexander likely takes the starting slot corner spot as an adept veteran familiar with Zimmer’s system.

However, Nickerson’s speed could be used advantageously in both coverage and rushing the passer. Zimmer could coach up Nickerson to play to his strengths, offering another option to bolster a diversity of weapons in the Vikings cornerbacks room.

Nickerson battled back from a potentially career-threatening knee injury his freshman year of college and did not lose any of his speed. Still, his latest hamstring injury could impact the remainder of his playing career.

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