EAGAN, Minn. — The Vikings selected Georgia safety Lewis Cine with the 32nd overall pick in the 2022 NFL Draft on Thursday night.
Minnesota originally had the 12th overall pick, but Vikings General Manager Kwesi Adogo-Mensah swung a first-round trade in his draft debut.
Cine was the among the top safety prospects available in this year's draft. Analytics website Pro Football Focus ranked Cine as the draft's No. 2 safety prospect.
View photos of Georgia S Lewis Cine who was selected No. 32 overall in the First Round of the 2022 NFL Draft.
Dane Brugler of The Athletic provided a breakdown of Cine:
"He has one of the more unique journeys I've seen," Brugler told Vikings.com. "Born in Haiti, grew up in Florida, learned to play football in Boston, was a top recruit in Texas and earned All-American status at Georgia. It doesn't get much more diverse than that.
"He's a guy you feel like is an ascending player. You love his football IQ and he plays fast, but you wish he made more plays on the ball in creating interceptions," Brugler added. "But he'll come downhill and hit you, he's that type of enforcing safety. He could sneak into the first round."
The selection of Cine gives the Vikings a potential long-term option at the safety spot. Harrison Smith is entering the first season of a multi-year extension, but Minnesota is inexperienced at safety behind Smith.
Camryn Bynum started twice as a rookie in 2021, recording an interception, a sack and three passes defensed, but he is only entering his second season as a safety after playing cornerback in college. The Vikings also have Josh Metellus and Myles Dorn at that spot, but both of those players have mostly been special teamers in the past year or so.
Cine, a junior who is listed at 6-foot-2 and 199 pounds on his NFL.com bio page, played in 15 games in 2021 as he helped Georgia win the College Football Playoff National Championship.
Cine came up clutch in the season finale as he was named the Defensive MVP in the win over Alabama.
He recorded 73 total tackles (43 solo) with two tackles for loss, one interception and nine passes defensed.
Cine's selection marks the first time the Vikings have taken a safety in the first round since Smith back in 2012.
Cine became the 700th player ever selected by the Vikings in an NFL Draft since 1961.
Cine became the second player ever picked 32nd overall by the Vikings, joining QB Teddy Bridgewater in 2014, and he is the first former Georgia Bulldog picked by Minnesota in the first round of a draft.