MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) — Another player to keep an eye on Thursday night as the Vikings face the Seattle Seahawks in preseason action — cornerback Trae Waynes.

He started last week’s preseason game in Cincinnati when Terence Newman was held out with an injury — and had mixed reviews.

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He’ll likely play a lot Thursday, and the Vikings are eager to see him take that next step.

The Vikings thought highly enough of Trae Waynes to make him their highest-drafted defensive back in team history, when they took him 11th overall in last year’s draft. And as a rookie, only five first-round picks played less last season.

Part of that was quality ahead of him on the depth chart. Part of that was him working his way through the adjustment of playing in the pros. But now, heading into his second season, Waynes says he’s made strides.

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“Yeah I’m still learning. I was joking around a little bit with Terence the other day, like, I still got a lot to learn from him,” Waynes said. “And I am getting more comfortable with the defense coming into my second year. And I’m a lot more comfortable with the playbook as well.”

There’s a lot to learn in a Mike Zimmer defense. It’s certainly a lot more mental than what Waynes was asked to do in college. And while Waynes didn’t do everything right last week in Cincinnati, Zimmer seems pleased with his progress.

“You know, we can’t — same thing happened to Xavier, we’re off the guy and they catch a four-yard hitch and it’s a nine-yard gain, now it’s third and three. So we have to be smarter in some of the things we’re doing, but he’s doing good,” Zimmer said.

“You know, he’s just coaching. Coaching on different techniques, how to read and play certain things, so I’m just trying to do the best I can to take everything he has to say and show it on the field,” Waynes said.

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If he does that, he’ll certainly see more of the field, this fall.