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Minnesota Vikings draft analysis: Antone Exum

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Position: Safety

Number: 32

College: Virginia Tech

Height: 6-0

Weight: 219

2014 Statistics: 3 games played, 4 total tackles, 1 pass breakup, 1 pass defensed

My analysis: Exum is physical and has good downfield ball skills. He is inconsistent in coverage and tackling. He has a tendency to lose receivers. He misses a lot of tackles by either failing to rip the ball away from the offensive player or dropping his head and failing to get a piece of the ballcarrier.

NFL.com’s Nolan Nawrocki’s analysis: Big, strong cornerback with appealing size, field speed and press-coverage ability. Must prove that he can recover from off-season knee surgery and return to being the player he was as a junior.

The skinny: The Vikings passed on a defensive back in the draft until taking Exum in the sixth round. The Vikings were one of the worst pass defenses in league last season. While players were added in free agency, they were expected to continue upgrading the group in the draft. The Vikings need Exum to be better than he showed in 2013. He played only three games after suffering a knee injury playing basketball in the offseason, which could explain his struggles. He will battle for the starting safety spot opposite Harrison Smith as well as a special teams role. The latter is the more likely way for him to make the Vikings roster this season.

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