EAGAN, Minn. – Two days, two defensive backs.
The Vikings have used their second pick of the 2022 NFL Draft to select Clemson cornerback Andrew Booth, Jr., with the 42nd overall selection.
The 21-year-old joins Georgia safety Lewis Cine, whom the Vikings took 32nd overall Thursday night.
In 11 games for the Tigers last season, Booth totaled 37 tackles (26 solo), three tackles for loss and five passes defensed. He also nabbed three interceptions.
Booth was listed as one of the top cornerback prospects in this year's draft. He did undergo surgery in March, however, which may have allowed him to slip to the Vikings, who began the night with the 34th overall pick but traded down before trading up.
Here are five things to know about Minnesota's newest cornerback:
1. Left his mark on Clemson
Booth was a First-Team All-ACC selection in 2021, joining Mario Goodrich to sweep first-team honors at the cornerback position. According to Clemson's website, Booth was part of the first single-school duo to sweep both the honors for the position since 1997.
Booth grabbed two of his three interceptions on the season against South Carolina, joining Marion Reeves (1971) and Willie Underwood (1980) at the only Clemson players with multiple interceptions in a game in the rivalry's history.
2. Compared to 'Jackrabbit'
NFL analyst Lance Zierlein compared Booth’s playing style to free agent cornerback Janoris "Jackrabbit" Jenkins. Jenkins shined early in his career with the Rams (2012-15) and Giants (2016-19), earning a nod to the 2016 Pro Bowl.
Zierlein said that Booth "plays with an urgent, competitive nature."
"He has the strength, balance and foot agility to press and slow the release," Zierlein said. "Booth has the ball-tracking and play strength to find and maintain top-dog positioning through catch tries. He's more effective in off coverage underneath than tight man. He needs to play more football, but his ball-hawking instincts, burst to close and toughness in run support will be very appealing for zone teams looking for an upgrade at cornerback."
3. Has overcome medical challenges
As a child, Booth was diagnosed with Osgood-Schlatter Disease, a condition that causes pain and swelling below the knee. He dealt with tendinitis in his knee in high school and in January 2020 underwent surgery on his right patellar tendon.
The condition hasn't held Booth back much, though, as he's continued to garner attention on the football field.
Arif Hasan of The Athletic wrote the following:
"If the Vikings are OK with that risk, it means they'll take a chance on an athlete with remarkable ball skills, excellent recovery ability and fluidity throughout the coverage process. He still has some seasoning do to as a technician, but he is a very talented player on the field."
4. Georgia native
Booth hails from Dacula, Georgia, located approximately 40 miles northeast of Atlanta.
He joins six other players, all defensive, on the Vikings roster who hail from Georgia: DT T.J. Smith (Moultrie), DT T.Y. McGill (Jesup), DT Dalvin Tomlinson (McDonough), DE D.J. Wonnum (Stone Mountain) and CB Chandon Sullivan (Winder).
Booth grew up just 24 miles from Wonnum's hometown.
View behind-the-scenes photos from the Thomson Reuters Vikings Draft Room during Day 1 of the 2022 NFL Draft.
5. Another Clemson defender
Booth is the seventh Clemson defensive player the Vikings have drafted in franchise history. Most recently, Minnesota drafted cornerback Mackensie Alexander and safety Jayron Kearse in 2016.
The Vikings have now drafted nine Clemson Tigers: G Brian Butcher (1983), LB Edgar Pickett (1984), RB Terry Allen (1990), LB Ed McDaniel (1992), LB Ashley Sheppard (1993), LB Chris Jones (1999), Alexander, Kearse and Booth.