The Minnesota Vikings possess a lot of talent at a lot of positions on the football field, but there might not be any position they’re deeper at than safety. Even in the absence of Andrew Sendejo, star safety Harrison Smith has gotten outstanding help from just about everyone the Vikings have at the position, whether it’s Jayron Kearse, Anthony Harris, or George Iloka (even though Iloka’s snaps have decreased a lot over the past couple of weeks).
Harris, in particular, has been outstanding, according to Sam Ekstrom of Zone Coverage.
Per Pro Football Focus, through Sam Ekstrom’s tweet, we can see that Harris has been the third-highest ranked safety in the NFL since Sendejo got hurt. Not the third-best safety on the Vikings, but third-best in the National Football League. And, as Ekstrom points out (and you can see on the graphic), Atlanta safety Blidi Wreh-Wilson has played just 13 snaps on defense during that time, which really bumps Harris up to #2.
Harris was touted as a potential Day 2 draft pick after a successful college career at the University of Virginia, but somehow went undrafted in 2015 and wound up on Minnesota’s practice squad. He went right from the practice squad to the starting lineup in 2015 for a Thursday night game against Arizona when the Vikings were decimated by injuries, and has been making plays when he’s been given the opportunity ever since.
Harris is in the final year of his contract, but he could, potentially, be a more attractive option for the Vikings at safety going forward than Sendejo. Sendejo is signed through the 2019 season, but has no guaranteed money on his deal next season and could save the Vikings $5.5 million if they were to cut him loose. With some maneuvering to do and some other pieces to potentially sign, the Vikings might turn their attention to Harris. . .whose contract is up at the end of this season. . .to be one of their starters going forward. He’d likely come at a lower price than Sendejo, unless another team decides to throw a bunch of money at him.