Minnesota Vikings first-rounder Lewis Cine ‘wants all the action’

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Lewis Cine enters the NFL with a reputation of being a hard-hitting safety who doesn’t shy away from contact. The former Georgia Bulldog was selected by the Minnesota Vikings with the final pick of the first round and is expected to make an instant impact in their secondary.

Cine had 145 tackles, 16 pass breakups and two interceptions over 39 games in his three seasons at UGA. Last year, he earned first-team All-SEC honors and was named Defensive MVP of the College Football Playoff National Championship Game.

The rookie believes he has a variety of skills that will help the Vikings’ defense going forward.

“For one, I want to say I’m a problem-solver, the fact that I can do a whole lot of things,” Cine said during his introductory press conference this week. “And coaches love that. They don’t want a one-trick pony. I can run. I got the size. I’m smart. I can do everything, the whole nine yards. So the team is not just going to put me in one place or the other, they’re going to allow me to play the game at my full potential.”

Cine’s football career has already taken him all over the world. 

“He has one of the more unique journeys I’ve seen,” Dane Brugler of The Athletic 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-America status at Georgia. It doesn’t get much more diverse than that.

“He’s a guy you feel like is an ascending player,” Brugler added. “You love his football IQ and he plays fast, but you wish he made more plays on the ball in creating interceptions. But he’ll come downhill and hit you, he’s that type of enforcing safety.”

Cine is set to join a Vikings defensive backfield that includes three-time All-Pro Patrick Peterson and 2017 first-team All-Pro Harrison Smith. Peterson, who is set to begin his second season with the Vikings, is already high on Cine’s potential.

“Yeah, just his knack for just wanting to be around the ball,” Peterson said. “Wanting that contact, wanting that collision, wanting to be in that fire. He wants all the action for sure. And you could just tell he’s still learning his way, but once it clicks, he’s gonna be a special one for sure.”

The Vikings earned high praise for their selection of Cine after trading with the Detroit Lions to move back into the first round.

“For so long, the Vikings boasted one of the NFL’s best free safeties in Harrison Smith, but age is catching up to the veteran,” FOX Sports NFL Draft Analyst Rob Rang said. “Cine catches up with opponents in a flash, and he brings the thunder as a hitter.”

The spotlight will be on Cine this season as the Vikings look to improve a defensive unit that ranked 30th in the NFL in yards allowed last year.


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