It has been relatively easy to overlook Lewis Cine during the preseason.
So far, there has probably been more attention on Ed Ingram, the second-round guard who looks like the leader in the right guard competition. Andrew Booth Jr. has gotten plenty of discussion. Fifth-round RB Ty Chandler has gotten a fair bit of focus since he has looked so balanced and explosive when he carries the ball.
Lewis Cine, though, is the team’s first-round choice, and he has done some good things this preseason.
A recent assessment from PFF does offer some concern, though. The piece considers every first rounder from the most recent draft. Down at 32 is Cine, who receives a modest 52.7 grade for his 31 snaps:
Cine started for the Vikings against San Francisco in a game that featured backups for both teams on both sides of the ball. Given that competition, the Vikings will have been hoping to see a little more involvement from their first-round rookie. He made three tackles, one of which was a defensive stop, and allowed one catch for 19 yards on the two passes thrown into his coverage.
Now, Vikings fans shouldn’t be overly disappointed to see the modest grade. Cine is young, so we should expect to see some modest assessments as his career gets going. Plus, a PFF grade is merely one way of evaluating a player’s performance.
The general consensus seems to be that we’ll see Harrison Smith and Camryn Bynum as the two starting safeties in Week 1. The team’s current depth chart suggests that’ll be the case. That being said, Lewis Cine still has one more preseason game, so we shouldn’t completely overlook him.
Moreover, the team will likely be experimenting with three-safety looks, as many have suggested throughout the offseason. Having three strong options at safety is thus a good problem to have, folks.
Unless something unforeseen happens, tonight’s Broncos game will exclusively feature Minnesota’s backups. We’re likely to see a lot of snaps for the rookies since the coaching staff is probably looking to get them more game reps. If a rookie performs well enough, maybe it’ll help him to see the field when the Packers visit U.S. Bank Stadium on Sept. 11.