It wasn't a position of glaring weakness a year ago, but the Vikings moved aggressively during the offseason to dramatically upgrade their first-line quality, reserve depth and prospects for the future at safety.
A year ago, veteran starter Dwight Smith was a liability in single coverage and in the open field. He was released and subsequently signed with division rival Detroit.
Backups Tank Williams and Mike Doss were also not re-signed. Williams signed with the Patriots and Doss has yet to catch on elsewhere this offseason. Both were considered much better moving forward than in reverse and lacked top pass cover skills and deep-third range against the pass.
Michael Boulware was also added for depth. He has been a productive starter when healthy and should also excel on special teams.
Then draft day produced rookie Tyrell Johnson, who is already get talked up about being on the field in certain nickel packages. He too should also be a big-play contributor on special teams while he learns the nuances of the pro game behind Sharper, who went to the Pro Bowl following last season.
Overall, the Vikings have significantly improved their overall speed, range and athleticism back there.
In fact, according to this Sporting News story, the Vikings safety unit might be the best in the conference.
Friday morning quick takes:
It's not often I agree with Ted Kennedy, but you'd think a U.S. Senator would indeed have better things to do with his time.
Ranked No. 11: Peterson can, and will, carry this team.
Another No. 11 power ranking predicated on the Vikings needing better QB play.
Not a good trade for everyone as Jared Allen's sports arena and grill in Kansas City is pulling the plug.
Is former Viking great Carl Eller in trouble with the law again?
Ex-Viking DB Kerry Cooks sees a different side of coaching .
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