December 17, 2017; Minneapolis, MN, USA; The Minnesota Vikings defensive back Harrison Smith (22) in the second quarter against the Cincinnati Bengals at US Bank Stadium. Compulsory Credit: Brad Rampel – USA Today Sports
This is the time of year when Pro Football Focus ranks players for all different positions. If there is a position group that has confirmed that a Vikings player will be at the top of the list, it is security.
Veteran Harrison Smith ranks second in the PFF’s overall security rankings. He may be 33 years old now, but last season he was still one of the best safety. I don’t expect that to change this year.
The PFF divides security positions into four different groups, each with its own ranking. The four groups are Coverage Free Safety, Box Strong Safety, Matchup Slots and Around Where Smith Ranked. The ranking of the seven players in the All-Around category is as follows:
- Adrian Amos – Green Bay Packers
- Harrison Smith – Minnesota Vikings
- Micah Hyde – Buffalo Bill
- Jordan Poir – Buffalo Bill
- John Johnson III – Cleveland Browns
- Amani Hooker – Tennessee Titans
- Justin Reed – Kansas City Chiefs
Here is what author Sam Monson said about Harrison Smith:
“Harrison Smith has long been a prototype of this security group. Much of this was due to the Vikings’ Mike Zimmer-led defense, but Smith was the player who made all of these coverage shells effective. Its ability to align in any security position within any coverage shell allows the rest of the parts to take up space around it. Smith may be falling from his elite best (achieving PFF grades 74.3 and 77.9 in his last two seasons, less than 90.0-plus), but he still lost a talent at No. 12 in 2021.“
– Sam Monson | Pro football focus
His best days may be behind him, however Hitman Still better than many and includes a few more years of high-level football, injury dependent. A rookie and / or second-year player named Lewis Cine and Cameron Binam, who joined the field this year, said his experience should be invaluable. They will be fortunate to learn under the guidance of one of the very best. However, the safety of the two young Vikings did not make the list this year. However, the changes to the 2023 version of the PFF are expected to have an impact on both this season.
However, an ex Viking makes the cut. Geron Kears is at number seven in the matchup slot rankings. Drafted in the seventh round by the Vikings in 2016, Cares made a commitment while in Minnesota – notably covering Noah Fant and denying what would happen in the final two games against the Denver Broncos on Thursday night. Football is back in 2019. It wasn’t enough to keep Kearsey in Minnesota for the 2020 season because he found himself in Detroit. Last season, he landed in Dallas and was influential enough to make this list.
For the record, the first ranked players in other categories are Kevin Byrd for Coverage Free Security, Buddha Baker for Box Strong Security and Darwin James for Matchup Slots. It wasn’t exactly the first place for Smith, but at this stage of his career his ranking of being second in the PFF’s overall safety rankings is extremely impressive and speaks volumes about the quality of the people and the players.