Friday, June 04, 2010

Minnesota Vikings Draft Analysis

The Minnesota Vikings are coming off of a disappointing end to the 2010 season. Despite a great record and a high-powered offense, they came up just short in the NFC Championship game, losing to the New Orleans Saints in OT. They played well enough to win, but just made a few crucial mistakes that caused them to lose.

Heading into the offseason, there were a few different holes that they needed to address. One was depth at CB, especially with Cedric Griffin and Antoine Winfield going through injury problems. Another was depth at RB, as Chester Taylor was not resigned, and instead went to the Chicago Bears. Last, they needed to look at the offensive line, and get more depth to challenge the starters for playing time.

They traded down out of the first round, but then were able to add Chris Cook out of Virginia to try to beef up the secondary. He projects to be a cornerback, but he can likely also play a little of bit of safety if they need him to. They hope he will challenge for a nickel role, and has the size to eventually be a starting cornerback in the NFL. They should be able to give him time to develop, and perhaps contribute on special teams.

Their second round pick was much more well known and accomplished in college, and that was Toby Gerhart, a RB out of Stanford. He is very versatile, and should be a nice complement to Adrian Peterson, as they hope that he can fill the void left by Chester Taylor. They would like him to be a solid pass catcher out of the backfield, good blocker on third down, and give Peterson the occasional rest by getting some carries. He seems to know his role well, and looks like he will be a nice extra piece of the offense for the Vikings.

Their next pick was Everson Griffen, a DE from USC. This was not a position of need, but he fell a lot farther than expected, and so the Vikings simply saw him as the best player available, and thought he would provide nice value for them, The rest of their draft was not filled with many big names, but simply guys they hope can compete for roster spots at WR, OL, and LB. It will be interesting to see if any of them stick. However, this draft will be measured by how well Toby Gerhart and Chris Cook play for the Vikings.

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