Saturday, April 24, 2010

Ill-informed Viking Draft Commentary

I don't watch a lot of college football (I would watch more, but when football takes away Sundays, Monday nights, and some Thursday nights of autumn, it's hard to give up Saturdays too), so it's a bit surprising to me that I've actually watched two of the Vikings' draft picks, Stanford RB Toby Gerhart and Minnesota linebacker Nate Triplett.

Toby Gerhart looked dominant in the games I saw, a bruiser with stamina that pushed tacklers backward and dragged them around. But I do have concern that he's a great college football player, but not even a good pro: after all, is he going to be dragging around NFL linebackers? Maybe, but I'm not sure. Furthermore, he wasn't used as much of a pass catcher: he might be a good player to spell Adrian Peterson, but he's not likely to really take Chester Taylor's place in the offense (which might be OK anyway: Adrian Peterson has developed into a better receiver, and there's that wonderful fellow named Percy Harvin, who can do a lot of things and finds himself near the sticks on a lot of third downs). I'm skeptical but hopeful: Gerhart might do some nice things with 5-10 carries a game this year.

I really liked Nate Triplett as a college player: I was at the Gophers' game against Air Force, and not only did he have the go-ahead fumble recover return for a touchdown, but subjectively he had about a thousand tackles, particularly in the open field against the Air Force option game. Is he athletic enough to be a productive pro? I'm not sure.

Regarding the Vikings' other picks, I like some of the position needs they went for. CB Chris Cook joins a secondary that often struggled last season: I think safety is a bigger concern than cornerback, but regularly adding DBs is practically a requirement for teams in today's NFL (cheers to the Vikes for adding Lito Sheppard earlier in the week). Offensive lineman Chris DeGeare could add depth to the offensive line, and frankly the Viking run blocking was a major disappointment in 2009.


  1. Almost every time I read something about the Vikings offensive line, Anthony Herrera is mentioned, and not in a complimentary way. Perhaps DeGeare is an upgrade. But the other four guys have to run block better as well in 2010.

  2. Anonymous2:25 AM

    I hear from Sports Illustrated that Toby Gerhart has deceptive speed.

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