Former Cal cornerback Camryn Bynum was taken by the Minnesota Vikings in the fourth round of the NFL draft on Saturday.
Bynum was the 125th overall selection in the draft and the 19th cornerback taken.
“Smart kid, really instinctive,” ESPN draft analyst Mel Kiper Jr. said Saturday of Bynum.
Kiper said he might play safety in the NFL, and Minnesota general manager Rick Spielman called Bynum a safety when announcing the pick.
Andrew Krammer of the Minneapolis Star Tribune tweeted this:
Cal had planned to give Bynum some playing time at safety in 2020, but the abbreviated 2019 spring practice, shortened 2020 preseason and brief 2020 regular season prevented that from happening.
"I love his instincts on tape," ESPN analyst Todd McShay said of Bynum. "This guy knows how to play the game."
His instincts should play well with the Vikings, who play a lot of zone coverage.
The Vikings added cornerback Patrick Peterson this offseason after both starting cornerbacks Mike Hughes and Holton Hill went down with injuries in 2020. But it appears Bynum will be a safety in Minnesota.
ESPN's pre-draft analysis of Bynum:
Bynum has good size and longer arms but doesn't possess top-end speed. He's at his best in zone coverage due to his instincts. He excels at understanding route combinations. Bynum is an above-average tackler in run support and after the catch.
CBS Sports assessment of Bynum:
Bynum's speed is something of a question, but he showcased solid instincts and technique as a four-year starter for California. He's a good fit for coach Mike Zimmer's preferred zone scheme, and it's possible that he could better develop as a safety at the NFL level. It's also worth noting that Bynum drew consistent praise for his leadership at California, even being named team captain in two separate seasons.
The Camryn Bynum File
Cornerback, 6-0, 200, Corona, Calif. (Centennial HS)
Cal – 2016-20; Undergraduate Degree – American Studies (December 2020)
---Bynum earned first-team All-Pac-12 honors in a vote of the league's coaches as a 2020 senior when he started all four of Cal's games and contributed 19 tackles, 2.0 tackles for loss (-3 yards), one interception that he returned for a career-high and career-long 20 yards, and two pass breakups in a season shortened to four games for Cal due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
–-- Bynum initially opted out of the 2020 season on Sept. 6, after the Pac-12 announced it would not play fall football and might play football in the winter or spring. However, when the Pac-12 changed its stance and reinstated a fall schedule, Bynum opted back into the 2020 season on Oct. 5. He was a starter in all four of Cal’s 2020 games.
---He was the only Cal player to start all 42 games from 2017-20 with each of his starts at cornerback as he posted career totals of 188 tackles, 8.0 tackles for loss (-16 yards), 0.5 sacks (-5 yards), six interceptions that he returned for a combined 20 yards, 29 pass breakups and 35 passes defended, with his 29 career pass breakups ranking fifth in school history.
–--Bynum recorded a career-high 63 tackles and 3.0 tackles for loss (career-high-tying -5 yards) while playing in and starting a career-high-tying all 13 games as a junior.
Cover photo of Camryn Bynum by Casey Sapio, USA TODAY Sports
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