3 Vikings breakout candidates ready to shine in 2022

Lewis Cine, Georgia Bulldogs

Lewis Cine, Georgia Bulldogs, Minnesota Vikings. (Photo by Justin Casterline/Getty Images)

The Minnesota Vikings should be among the teams pushing for the NFC playoffs this season.

After coming up short in the regular season once again, the Minnesota Vikings decided it was time to make wholesale changes to their organization.

The Wilfs opted to move off Mike Zimmer and Rick Spielman in favor of Kevin O’Connell and Kwesi Adofo-Mensah this offseason. While Minnesota is at a bit of a competitiveness crossroads, it probably serves the Vikings to see if they can avoid a rebuilding process altogether and contend for a postseason berth. Frankly, anything short of a wild card berth will be seen as disappointing.

For the Vikings to be a top-seven team in the NFC, they will need these three players to break out.

Minnesota Vikings: 3 players primed to have breakout seasons in 2022

3

Lewis Cine

S Minnesota Vikings

Lewis Cine is expected to be an absolute … DAWG! in the Vikings’ secondary

The first pick of the new Vikings administration was a slightly controversial one. Minnesota decided to trade back from No. 12 in a deal with the division rival Detroit Lions all the way to No. 32. While they will have to accept the fact that Jameson Williams now plays for a bitter division rival, the Vikings got themselves an absolute … DAWG! in Lewis Cine in their defensive backfield.

Cine was one of a record-setting 15 Georgia Bulldogs taken in the 2022 NFL Draft. Crazy enough, Cine was the fifth of five Dawgs taken on the first night of the event. While he can play all over the defensive backfield, Minnesota will have a use for him at safety. Cine has great ball skills and plays with a boulder-sized chip on his shoulder. Hilariously, he is every bit a Mike Zimmer type of player.

Although Cine is expected to be an impactful player as a first-year pro, he is a rookie after all. Even if he played at the highest of levels on an elite college team at Georgia, this is the NFL. While Cine should play his brand of football as an opportunistic defender, he cannot be afraid of getting burnt on occasion. Regardless, the Vikings need him to play up this season in his first as a professional.

Fair or not, Cine will be a target of great scrutiny as a rookie if he does not play up to expectations.

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