Vikings Infatuated with Top-50 Toledo Cornerback Balling Out at Senior Bowl Practices

NCAA Football: Mid-American Conference Football Championship-Miami (OH) at Toledo
Lon Horwedel-USA TODAY Sports

The Minnesota Vikings’ front office and coaching staff are very present at the Senior Bowl this week, gearing up for the upcoming NFL draft in April, where one cornerback in particular, Toledo’s Quinyon Mitchell, seems to have drawn their interest

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Mitchell ranks as the #35 prospect in the draft, according to Dane Brugler’s NFL Draft Big Board, He has met individually with the Vikings down in Mobile already this week and, according to Alec Lewis (The Athletic), they have serious interest in the 2nd Team All-American.

Toledo CB Quinyon Mitchell Drawing Interest

“One player of serious interest [for the Vikings] this year is cornerback Quinyon Mitchell, who shared Wednesday that he had met with the Vikings. The University of Toledo product played in 39 games over the last three years and in 2023 was Pro Football Focus’ highest-graded cornerback among 200 qualified CBs.”

Alec Lewis – The Athletic

Lined up in press-man coverage, Mitchell showcased his skills numerous times on Wednesday, as he shadowed Michigan receiver Roman Wilson, effectively shutting down one of the most talented receivers at the Senior Bowl.

At Toledo, Mitchell played a lot of man-coverage and proved an innate ability to play a shutdown role without much help over the top. Lewis, and clearly the Vikings too, believe Mitchell would be a great fit in Brian Flores’ defense.

“Additionally, Mitchell played match coverage, which starts as zone and turns into man, depending on the route the receiver runs. This responsibility requires a seamless application of rule memorization to on-field application. Most NFL teams, including the Vikings, ask for this depth of understanding from their cornerbacks. Defensive coordinator Brian Flores utilizes “hot coverage,” which mandates corners maintain eye position on the quarterback and react swiftly once the ball is snapped.”

Alec Lewis – The Athletic

Minnesota Vikings desperately need cornerback help

Quinyon Mitchell : Minnesota Vikings Mid-American Conference Football Championship-Miami (OH) at Toledo
Credit: Lon Horwedel-USA TODAY Sports

The Vikings have identified cornerback as one of their priorities in the upcoming draft. Adding a player like Mitchell could provide the exact type of secondary upgrade they so desperately need.

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If Kwesi wants Mitchell badly enough, he may have to do some maneuvering to get him in an ideal spot. NFL Draft legend Mel Kiper Jr (ESPN), projects the Toledo cornerback to be selected by the Detroit Lions with the 30th overall pick. Kiper Jr also noted he was excited to see how Mitchell would perform at the Senior Bowl. Now we see why.

The love for Quinyon Mitchell within the football community doesn’t stop with Alec Lewis or Mel Kiper. Insider Mike Garafolo (NFL Network) is at the senior bowl this week too, and took some of the things that he is hearing public on Thursday, as well.

“Toledo cornerback has done a fantastic job… Ian and I expected him to be our guest interview for the show yesterday, so we were locked in and we were watching every single rep, and he had the confindce to be underneath Brendan Rice and say hey I’m good with defending things over the top, had himself an interception, did that multiple times, the kid plays with a ton of confidence he’s got a lot of ability, I like what I’ve seen from Quinyon Mitchell”

Garafolo

Should the Vikings decide to select Mitchell, I believe many fans would be pleased with the choice. However, if he manages to slip to the Vikings in the second round, it would be considered a steal. As the Senior Bowl game is yet to be played, Mitchell will have another opportunity to display his skills on Sunday during the actual game.

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