New Minnesota Vikings Cornerback Draws Comparison to 3x All-Pro

Minnesota Vikings
Bob Self/Florida Times-Union via Imagn Content Services, LLC

The Minnesota Vikings haven’t had a Pro Bowl cornerback since Xavier Rhodes made the team in 2019. Before Rhodes, you’d have to go all the way back to 2010 to find the most recent Vikings cornerback to earn Pro Bowl honors.

But Minnesota has had several other notable names start in the secondary since, including three-time All-Pro Patrick Peterson, he just never earned those honors during his two-year stint with the Vikings from 2021-22. Yet, that doesn’t mean his arrival didn’t make an impact on the younger players in the locker room who were enamored with the future Hall of Famer.

Josh Metellus was one of the players who Peterson left a strong impression on. The young safety was entering his second season in 2021 when Peterson arrived, with 154 games of starting experience. While Peterson is no longer with the Vikings, GM Kwesi Adofo-Mensah did add another experienced vet to Brian Flores’ defense this offseason, and according to Metellus, he’s already making an impact.

Shaquill Griffin = Patrick Peterson with Minnesota Vikings?

Shaquill Griffin, Minnesota Vikings
Credit: Maria Lysaker-USA TODAY Sports

Buried in Alec Lewis’ latest from The Athletic, the Vikings beat reporter detailed the feisty, competitive nature Griffin is bringing to Minnesota’s secondary. Griffin could reportedly be seen “jawing” with Justin Jefferson following an incompletion during 7-on-7 drills this past Thursday. The 28-year-old cornerback was enjoying every bit of the encounter, and as Lewis stated, his “confidence is unmistakable.”

This is exactly what the secondary needs more of, and Metellus recognizes it too.

“It almost gives me that same feeling as Patrick Peterson when he came into the building. He’s a guy who has seen a lot of football, and he’s giving us tidbits, especially the young guys in the corner room.”

Josh Metellus on Shaquill Griffin’s impact on Minnesota Vikings

Griffin may not have any All-Pro accolades, but he was named to a Pro Bowl team in 2019. Yet, he also brings 89 games (79 starts) of experience to a young Vikings secondary that has yet to define its pecking order behind Byron Murphy.

And while the Vikings were getting Peterson at the age of 31, Griffin is in his athletic prime, at the age of 28. The only question is whether he can return to the borderline elite form that he displayed during his Seahawks career.

With Flores barking out play calls and putting players in the right position, having Griffin establish himself as an above-average corner could be crucial in improving the team’s 24th-ranked passing defense from a season ago.

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