If the Vikings had anything out of last year’s rookie class to like, it had to be defensive back Camryn Bynum. This 2021 fourth rounder is looking like a bargain right now. The teams are under a rebuild, there’s room to grow, and his tangibles are just outstanding. So much so this IDP guy is making that deep breakout call. Bynum is going to make a lot of fantasy football fans happy this year, it’s just a matter of at what position.
His IDP Dime Tangibles
As a four year starter at cornerback out of Cal. Camryn Bynum led the team in pass defenses the final three years before declaring for the NFL. Amassing 188 combined tackles, 8 tackles for loss, 0.5 sacks. But most notably. He had 6 interceptions, 29 pass breakups, and 35 passes defended coming into the 2021 draft. Bynum reportedly did struggle in man coverage but on the flip side excelled in zone coverage. Which graded him out as a potential day three selection. A grade that also included elite run defending among all the defensive backs in the draft class. His conversion to a new position fell more on the Viking’s needs in 2021. Rather than the idea Bynum couldn’t play corner in the NFL. The Vikings had an overflow of sorts at cornerback but needed a solid third safety. One capable of backing up two solid veteran starters, Harrison Smith and Xavier Woods. It’s also notable that most corners make the move to safety when they struggle at the NFL level. And normally they’re not built quite like an “in the box” run stopping force either. Something that Bynum’s 6ft and 200 lbs “CB” frame handled very well when he was on display mid-season.
Camryn Bynum On Display
With Harrison Smith in COVID protocols weeks nine and ten, Bynum was the next man up. He stepped right in the first week and assumed Smith’s IDP production like a champ. Something that isn’t exactly implausible. But Bynum did it with positive grades making a couple of impact plays in the process. Instead of being just a productive by default replacement. Which we see more often than not from a depth player getting his shot. He was really impressive on film in his first start versus the Ravens. Recording his first career interception while adding 8 solos and 4 assisted tackles. Only to follow that up again on a positive note the following week versus the Chargers. Landing 5 more solos, 1 assist, 1 pass defended, and 1 sack with 1 credited tackle for loss in most formats. Smith did return to the lineup in week 11 so Bynum didn’t see any significant snaps for the rest of the season. Which in hindsight is a good thing when we think about it. It gave IDP managers a small NFL sample within an appealing 2022 scenario.
Without going into great detail, the Vikings are basically rebuilding. They’ve hired a new coaching staff and have a lot of cap issues to deal with on both sides of the ball. It so happens, one of the issues under the microscope is Harrison Smith’s contract. He just signed an extension last year but he turned 33 already this year. They aren’t likely to cut Smith outright, but weirder things have happened. And with all the other big names and starters they have to deal with cap-wise, it’s not out of the question. We certainly don’t see him being there after 2022 based on age and current contract. The Vikes have an out in his contract in 2023 and it’ll be time to cut bait before he loses that first step. This may be something IDP managers want to keep in mind. His dynasty value is basically gone, and his redraft ride is about to be over soon.
Current free agent free safety Xavier Woods signed a one-year contract last season. Reviving his mediocre tag coming out of Dallas with an outstanding 2021 performance. So he’s earned a payday that the Vikings might not be able to deal with. So if you ask me, this may be our strongest path to Bynum breaking out this season. This new regime in Minnesota is saying we’ll see a lot of the nickel package on game day. And Woods leaving creates a vacuum that Bynum should get the chance to fill based on what we know right now. About 5 years ago I would likely never suggest looking at the free safety position for a breakout. But in today’s NFL, the free safety gained stability by playing more nickel packages. Add in the great influx of talented players to play the position. And it’s stocking up fast as a solid defensive back play. Hence, if Woods does resign with the Vikings make sure to give respect where respect is due. He played great considering his track record on top of staying healthy the entire year. And his experience at his age takes things to another NFL level. So it’s the same take if he lands somewhere else. At least according to what we saw in 2021 and he’s still in the prime of his career. And there are a lot of defensive coordinators out there that would love to have Woods in their secondary.
In a nutshell. Currently, the Vikings have one viable starting cornerback under contract. That also leaves a void that Bynum could fill well. After all, he’s a converted corner, not the other way around. So what’s to say considering their circumstances. On top of Bynum’s tangibles as a former corner. That he doesn’t get his shot outside? We also know that a slot corner can produce in the right fantasy formats. So either way, the Vikings have just two of their minimal five important defensive backs. And Bynum has already shown he’s a capable in-house option as they rebuild that secondary.
Breaking Out Camryn Bynum
Acquiring one of the safety spots is our best-case scenario on Bynum’s way to breaking out this year. But anywhere in this secondary is appealing depending on his fantasy position. So the next couple of months will have to play out to lock anything down. And know exactly how big of an IDP breakout call this is going to be. Afterall. How could they not want their young “nearly elite” graded defensive back on the field in 2022?
The opportunity is huge, but it’ll get way bigger when it’s filled with real talent.
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