Vikings Sign Cornerback Joejuan Williams to Bolster Secondary

The Vikings have made a move to bolster their secondary by agreeing to terms with cornerback Joejuan Williams, a former second-round pick of the Patriots.

Williams, who missed the entire 2022 season with a shoulder injury, will join a revamped Vikings defense that also added Byron Murphy Jr. in free agency.

Vikings Sign Cornerback Joejuan Williams to Bolster Secondary

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Williams was drafted 45th overall by New England in 2019 out of Vanderbilt, where he earned All-SEC honors as a junior. He has the size (6-foot-3, 212 pounds) and length (78-inch wingspan) to match up with bigger receivers, but he struggled to find playing time in the Patriots’ crowded cornerback room.

He played in 36 games with one start over three seasons, recording 41 tackles, eight pass breakups and a quarterback hit.

The 25-year-old Williams will have a chance to compete for a role in the Vikings’ cornerback rotation, which currently features Kalon Barnes, Andrew Booth Jr., Akayleb Evans, Tay Gowan and Murphy Jr.

The Vikings lost Patrick Peterson, Cam Dantzler, Duke Shelley and Kris Boyd in free agency, leaving them thin at the position. They are also expected to address the cornerback spot in the upcoming draft.

Williams has shown flashes of potential in his brief NFL career, but he will need to prove himself healthy and consistent to earn the trust of head coach Mike Zimmer and defensive coordinator Andre Patterson.

He will also have to adapt to a new scheme and a new coaching staff after spending his first four years under Bill Belichick.

The Vikings are hoping that Williams can provide some depth and versatility to their secondary, as he has experience playing both outside and inside corner.

He also has some special teams value, as he played on 35 percent of the Patriots’ special teams snaps in 2021. Williams will join a Vikings team that is looking to bounce back from a disappointing 7-10 season and return to the playoffs in 2023.

Final Thoughts: Vikings Bolster Secondary with Signing of Joejuan Williams

The Vikings made a smart move by signing Joejuan Williams to help bolster their secondary, which suffered significant losses in free agency. Williams, a former second-round pick of the Patriots, has the size and length to match up with bigger receivers, and he has shown flashes of potential in his brief NFL career.

The Vikings will be hoping that Williams can stay healthy and consistent and provide some depth and versatility to their cornerback rotation.

One of the biggest concerns for the Vikings heading into the 2023 season is their secondary, which lost several key players in free agency. The addition of Williams and Byron Murphy Jr.

in free agency should help to address this concern, but the Vikings are also expected to address the cornerback spot in the upcoming draft.

Williams will have a chance to compete for a role in the Vikings’ cornerback rotation, which currently features several young and inexperienced players.

His experience playing both outside and inside corner will be valuable, as will his special teams experience. Williams played on 35 percent of the Patriots’ special teams snaps in 2021, which could help him earn a roster spot and contribute in multiple phases of the game.

One of the challenges for Williams will be adapting to a new scheme and coaching staff after spending his first four years under Bill Belichick in New England.

He will need to prove himself healthy and consistent to earn the trust of head coach Mike Zimmer and defensive coordinator Andre Patterson.

Overall, the signing of Williams is a low-risk, high-reward move for the Vikings. If he can stay healthy and consistent, he has the potential to provide significant value to the team in 2023 and beyond.

The Vikings will be hoping that Williams can help them bounce back from a disappointing 2022 season and return to the playoffs in 2023.