The Vikings turned back to defense on Saturday with its fifth pick in the 2019 NFL Draft.
Linebacker Cameron Smith was selected in the fifth round (162nd overall) to give the Vikings defense some depth in the middle. General manager Rick Spielman traded back three spots, acquiring a seventh-round pick (237th overall) from the Patriots in the process, before picking Smith.
Smith (6-2, 238 pounds) finishes his USC career with 26.5 tackles for a loss, 11 of which came when he was the Trojans’ leading tackler as a junior with 112 tackles, three pass deflections and an interception.
He’s the first defender drafted by the Vikings this weekend. Minnesota used its first four picks on offense, selecting center Garrett Bradbury (North Carolina St.), tight end Irv Smith Jr. (Alabama), running back Alexander Mattison (Boise State) and guard Dru Samia (Oklahoma).
Earlier in the round, the New York Jets drafted Gophers linebacker Blake Cashman.
Big Ten coaches named Cashman, who started his college career as a walk-on from Eden Prairie, tothird-team all-conference after he led the Gophers with 104 tackles in 12 games. Cashman did not play in Minnesota's Quick Lane Bowl victory over Georgia Tech to prepare for the draft.
The Vikings started Day 3 of the draft by taking Oklahoma offensive tackle Dru Samia in the fourth round.