The 2021 NFL Draft didn’t hear quite as many California Golden Bears as any fan may have hoped, but that wasn’t that big of a surprise for any of those who watched the team the past few seasons. With the amount of talent they’ve produced into the league, mainly from the defensive side of the ball and in the secondary, it’s actually quite amazing they can keep producing top-notch players in such a short amount of time.
The past four seasons have produced six NFL draft picks from the defensive side of the ball and almost the entire starting defensive backfield from the 2019 secondary will now be playing on Sundays.
Camryn Bynum was the only player drafted from the 2021 NFL Draft but he joined Ashtyn Davis and Jaylinn Hawkins as members of that famed 2019 secondary to hear their names called on draft weekend.
Now, a few weeks removed from the draft, we can take a look at just where Bynum projects in the NFL. Bynum was selected in the fourth round by the Minnesota Vikings.
First things first, it looks as if some off-field issues in the secondary for the Vikings may push Bynum to the field earlier than anticipated. Jeff Gladney is undergoing some off-field legal issues but was the team’s starter at right cornerback a year ago. With Patrick Peterson’s signing to man one side as a temporary stopgap, former first-round pick Mike Hughes is the other logical selection to start for Minnesota. But the Vikings did not pick up Hughes’ fifth-year option recently, stating their perhaps intent on letting him go if this year doesn’t pan out.
Other than Peterson and Hughes, there’s seventh-round pick Kris Boyd and fifth-round pick Harrison Hand in the cornerback room to push Bynum for spots. Cameron Dantzler and Mackensie Alexander seemingly have the slot locked down for the Vikings while Xavier Woods and Harrison Smith are entrenched as the team’s starters at each safety position.
So for Bynum, he’ll have his work cut out for him to topple a first-round pick as well as Boyd and Hand, each of whom has a few years of NFL experience on him. But for Bynum, that is actually one of his strongest assets: his experience. The longtime Cal starter should have no trouble fitting in and picking up the scheme and if things continue negatively for Gladney, expect to see more and more of Bynum come the preseason for the Vikings.
He was just recently featured in the Vikings ‘5 things to know about’ series as well.
The sky is the limit for the talented cornerback and if somethings continue to bounce his way, he’ll join both his former teammates in making an impact early and often with his NFL franchise.
Good luck, Cam!