Vikings draft Clemson CB Andrew Booth Jr. after more trades

After two more trades, the busy Minnesota Vikings took Clemson cornerback Andrew Booth Jr. with the 42nd overall pick in the NFL draft Friday night.

Minnesota started the second day of the draft with the second pick in the second round, No. 34, but made another intra-division trade. The Vikings traded the pick to Green Bay for the No. 53 and 59 selections. Minnesota then traded Nos. 53, 77 and 192 to the Indianapolis Colts...

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After two more trades, the busy Minnesota Vikings took Clemson cornerback Andrew Booth Jr. with the 42nd overall pick in the NFL draft Friday night.

Minnesota started the second day of the draft with the second pick in the second round, No. 34, but made another intra-division trade. The Vikings traded the pick to Green Bay for the No. 53 and 59 selections. Minnesota then traded Nos. 53, 77 and 192 to the Indianapolis Colts to move up and draft Booth, the 6-foot, 194-pound cornerback that addresses one of the team’s biggest needs.

The Vikings also received pick No. 122 from Indianapolis.

Booth might have fallen due to medical concerns.

Saying he hasn’t been healthy since high school, Booth noted he had hernia surgery last April that didn’t solve the issue and he played through the injury last season. He again had hernia surgery in March but said he expects to be ready for offseason activities.

“I didn’t do the combine or the pro day, so I kind of made it hard for everybody to love me,” Booth said. “I know everybody really, really liked me, but I was hard to love, though. It was tough, like, because I know I’m more healthy than the guy that was on tape that going into these meetings everybody is putting up. Ten times better than the cat on tape.”

Booth, who entered the draft after his junior season, had 37 tackles and three interceptions last season. He can play press or zone coverage.

“They are getting, first of all, a great person with a great spirit to him,” Clemson coach Dabo Swinney said in a release from the Vikings. “From a football standpoint, they’re getting a rare corner: long, explosive, fast, a physical tackler at the corner position, which is really not always the case, with great ball skills. Very instinctive guy, and I think a guy that helps the team right away.”

Minnesota re-signed veteran Patrick Peterson and signed Chandon Sullivan in free agency but didn’t have much experience behind them at cornerback. It’s the second addition to the secondary after adding Georgia safety Lewis Cine at the end of the first round.

“He’s kind of the guy that, of course we wanted to get him, because he brings a lot to the table; his competitiveness, his size, he plays at a high level, played for a really good program like our last pick,” said Ryan Grigson, a senior football advisor with the Vikings. “So, he can hit the ground running in a lot of ways as a pro.”

Upgrading the secondary might be a necessity after trades with two NFC North rivals.

The Vikings traded back from No. 12 to 32 in the first round, sending the 12th pick to Detroit, who selected receiver Jameson Williams. After Friday’s trade with Green Bay, the Packers added North Dakota State receiver Christian Watson, giving quarterback Aaron Rodgers a speedy, 6-foot-4 target.

Minnesota had two more Friday picks, No. 59 and 66.

Cine arrived at Vikings headquarters earlier to visit with team officials and tour the facility. The versatile safety from Georgia spoke glowingly about the satisfying opportunities his position provides to deliver punishing hits to the opposition.

“I can be all-out physical and just do me on the football field and be OK about it. When you think about it, football is a violent game. A lot of things you do in football, you can’t do in the outside world. You’ll get arrested,” Cine said.

He wanted to make clear, though, that he’s not a reckless or dirty player.

“I want to play the game safe, let me say that for sure, because now at this level the last thing I want to happen is be fined. The NFL fines people a pretty penny,” Cine said. “So, I want to be in the game, one. I want to not get fined, two, and I want to be dependable to my team, three.”

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