Shrine Cornerback Earns Vikings' Interest

With Antoine Winfield and Fred Smoot in place, interest in a draft-eligible cornerback is likely on a developmental basis.

The Vikings were spotted showing an interest in USC cornerback Justin Wyatt this week at the East-West Shrine game.

Wyatt has proved to be a versatile athlete. A two-year starter at cornerback for the Trojans, Wyatt had 40 tackles and seven deflections in 2004, when he made All-Pac-10 honorable mention. In 2003, he was switched to wide receiver for the first part of the season before making the conversion back to the defensive side of the ball.

In high school, he earned numerous all-star honors following his senior season at Dominguez High in Compton, Calif. He played cornerback, quarterback, running back and wide receiver in high school. In an extremely versatile and productive senior season at Dominguez, he had 1,436 yards on 138 carries (10.4-yard average) and 27 touchdowns, threw for 1,268 yards and 16 TDs with a 65.8 completion percentage, caught 28 passes for 473 yards (16.9-yard average) and five TDs, and returned three punts and two kickoffs for TDs.

Wyatt's drawback might be his size. He is only 5-foot-10 and 185 pounds and runs a 4.54 40-yard dash. He also doesn't have great hands for making the interception, according to TFY Draft Preview.

With the Vikings already presumably having their starting cornerbacks for 2006 in place with Antoine Winfield and Fred Smoot, predraft interest in a cornerback at this point would have be considered a low-round or developmental interest.


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