Vikings' hidden treasure: Cornerback

Examining a position group that could exceed its preseason expectations:

Offseason practices revealed there might be less reason to panic about the Minnesota Vikings' cornerback position. Although they took a middling response to a personnel disaster in 2011, the team has some options that should make it competitive, provided key players remain healthy.

Third-year player Chris Cook, reinstated to the roster after last year's legal problems, looked sharp in pass coverage. Veteran Antoine Winfield appears set to work as a slot/nickelback, and the Vikings have some decent options at the other outside positions. Veteran Chris Carr made the biggest impression during camp, but rookie Josh Robinson's speed will help him get on the field. Fellow veteran Zack Bowman, meanwhile, worked mostly with the third team.

There might not be any 2012 Pro Bowl players in that group, but it has the potential to be more competent than it might appear at first glance.