Vikings’ Patrick Peterson Sounds off on Rookie CB: ‘He’s Going to be a Problem’

Andrew Booth Jr.

Courtesy of Vikings Clemson cornernback Andrew Booth Jr. is already impressing at Vikings training camp.

Two days into Minnesota Vikings training camp and no player has more buzz surrounding them than Andrew Booth Jr.

The second-round rookie cornerback out of Clemson has impressed, picking off Kirk Cousins on the first day of training camp and holding his ground in a budding training camp rivalry on Day 2.

Booth is becoming the talk of Vikings training camp, with veteran cornerback Patrick Peterson already seeing the force he is in the secondary.

The latest Vikings news straight to your inbox! Join the Heavy on Vikings newsletter here!

Join Heavy on Vikings!

‘He’s Going to Be a Problem’

In 11-on-11s on the first day of training camp on July 27, Booth slid underneath a pass from Cousins intended for Justin Jefferson that he returned with a fanfare from his new teammates on defense.

“The pick was impressive, but Booth looked fluid and bursty throughout all of his first NFL training camp practice. Afterwards, he talked about loving how he fits into this defensive scheme, which is similarly complex to the one he played in at Clemson. He also said he’s trying to soak up everything he can from Patrick Peterson, both from conversations with him to just paying attention to his every movement when possible,” Inside the Vikings’ Will Ragatz reported.

Peterson was impressed by Booth in his training camp debut, saying “He looked pretty good. He moved around really well. It looks like he’s healthy so we’ll see if he can continue to build on that. I like how instinctive he is. He’s very quick at the line of scrimmage. He’s going to be a problem here pretty soon,” per Pioneer Press reporter Chris Tomasson.

Die-hard Vikings fan? Follow the Heavy on Vikings Facebook page for the latest breaking news, rumors and content from Skol Nation!

Budding Rivalry With Smith-Marsette

While Booth turned heads on Day 1, it was Day 2 where he had eyes glued on him.

During 7-on-7’s, Booth clamped down second-year wide receiver Ihmir Smith-Marsette, then got in his face and shouted “you don’t want to get physical with me.” Smith-Marsette, a strong personality in his own right, threw the trash talk right back at Booth.

On one of the ensuing reps, the ball went towards Smith-Marsette again, but Booth had ridden him out of bounds and it fell incomplete, Ragatz said. A flag flew for pass interference, but that didn’t stop Booth from continuing to talk.

From Ragatz: “Later, in 11s, Smith-Marsette went for a deep route up the sideline on a double move against Booth, who played it well. Sean Mannion’s pass sailed long, so Booth celebrated with the incomplete sign. Justin Jefferson, thinking there was contact, picked up one of the official’s flags and threw it in their direction.”

Booth, coming off hernia surgery, admitted it’s the first time since he’s felt fully healthy since high school — and it’s already showing.

“We’re in helmets, and one of the things that I loved about him coming out was his willingness to be physical, tackle,” head coach Kevin O’Connell said of Booth in a July 28 press conference. “But what I saw yesterday was a guy who used all those jog-through reps. When you have an injured player like that who can’t take part in full-speed reps, that jog-through portion banked a lot of reps for Andrew and a lot of our other guys. It was great to see some of those reps come to fruition. He made a play on (the interception), he made a lot of plays where quarterbacks had to say ‘no’ to their first progression because of where he was, and it was a great start for him. As I did yesterday, I just challenged him to continue to stack that. As the installations start to stack up and we ask you to do a lot more, can you maintain?”

Read More