Vikings rookie safety Harrison Smith will remain the starter for Friday's preseason game against the Chargers after performing well in his first start last Friday against the Buffalo Bills.
Smith, a first-round (29th overall) pick out of Notre Dame, used a strong training camp to work his way into a starting role against the Bills in the Vikings second preseason game. Smith and second-year opposite safety Mistral Raymond were part of a strong Vikings defensive unit that limited the Bills to just 6 yards of first-quarter offense.
Raymond and Jamarca Sanford began camp as the starters, but it appears that Smith has surpassed both of them on the depth chart at the moment. Sanford started 15 games last season and led all Viking defensive backs in tackles with 118. Raymond started the final five games of the 2011 season as a rookie.
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