Vikings Sign Another Rookie CB

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Jan 1, 2022; New Orleans, LA, USA; Baylor Bears cornerback Kalon Barnes. Mandatory Credit: Chuck Cook-USA TODAY Sports.

In the wake of their 34-23 loss to the Detroit Lions on Sunday, head coach Kevin O’Connell made it clear that adjustments and changes would be made to improve in the future. Evidently, one of those adjustments included signing another cornerback to the active roster. On Wednesday morning, the Vikings added rookie CB Kalon Barnes to their 53-man roster. Darren Wolfson of KTSP was the first to report the news.

Barnes was a seventh-round pick in the 2022 NFL Draft by the Carolina Panthers where he spent training camp and preseason. However, following Carolina’s final preseason game, during which he recorded a single tackle, the Panthers waived their rookie CB.

Two days later, the Miami Dolphins plucked Barnes up out of free agency and stashed him onto their practice squad. He is yet to see regular season NFL action.

Prior to the NFL, though, Barnes was a strong starting cornerback for the Baylor Bears during four years of college. From 2018-2021, he played 35 games for Baylor and recorded 69 tackles, 2.5 TFLs, 14 pass defenses, 3 interceptions, and a forced fumble.

Barnes is known for blazing fast speed, running a 4.23-second time in the 40-yard dash at the NFL combine. He’s also an explosive athlete with extreme leaping ability to make plays on the ball.

The Vikings need for cornerback depth is dire at this point in the year. Minnesota has been short at the position ever since Week 9 when Cam Dantzler originally suffered his high ankle sprain. Since then, the Vikings have lost two rookies at cornerback. Andrew Booth went down for the rest of the season with a torn meniscus, and Akayleb Evans is currently on IR after suffering his third concussion of 2022.

Currently, the Vikings are relying largely on Patrick Peterson, Dantzler, Duke Shelley, and Chandon Sullivan in order to cover the position on defense. We’ll see if Barnes steps in right away on the defense, or if the rookie CB will be used mainly as a special teams contributor.

Josh Frey is a Class of 2020 graduate of The College of Idaho with a bachelor’s degree in Creative Writing. He also earned minors in History, Human Biology, and Journalism. When he’s not writing about the NFL, Josh enjoys marathon training, playing video games, or rooting for the Milwaukee Brewers and Bucks. For more of his opinions, check out his Twitter account: @Freyed_Chicken.