During organized team activities next week, Vikings rookie safety Lewis Cine will learn under the likes of veteran defensive backs Harrison Smith and Patrick Peterson. But at rookie minicamp Friday, Cine was put in charge.
Cine was taken with the No. 32 pick out of Georgia in last month’s NFL draft. He arrived in Minnesota on Thursday, signed his contract, and soon got an assignment from first-year head coach Kevin O’Connell.
“I told him (Friday), ‘’Hey, lead this group out here,’’’ O’Connell said. “There’s a reason why you were our first-round draft pick and he’s got that makeup and it comes naturally to him to lead by example. But I challenged him, take the rest of that DB group under your wing.”
So Cine, 22, barked out instructions on the first day of the two-day minicamp at the TCO Performance Center to eight other defensive backs. The group included cornerback Andrew Booth Jr., a second-round pick who didn’t participate in drills Friday as he continues to recover from hernia surgery, cornerback Akayleb Evans, a fourth-round selection, an undrafted free-agent signee and five tryout players.
Cine took the assignment in stride.
“I’m a natural leader,’’ he said. “I know that right away I don’t have to do much. Just be myself. As long as I’m communicating with the guys generally, enjoying the game, leadership comes really easy after that.”
When the Vikings open the season Sept. 11 against Green Bay at…