Well fans, it was a very perplexing draft. When the Vikes traded down into the Lions slot in the second, I thought they had made a nifty move to grab Notre Dame QB Jimmy Clausen and pick up a late round pick. Instead, they made a big reach for CB Chris Cook, rated no better than eleventh at his position by any of my draft books, and as low as nineteenth by Lindy’s, one of the better guides in my experience. He has good size, 6’2,” 212 lbs., but lacks corner speed at 4.55 in the forty. But then I read Sid Hartman’s column Sunday which cited defensive coordinator Leslie Frazier’s claim that Cook ran the forty in 4.44. Big difference. The upgrade in foot speed moves him from a probable makeover to safety, to a corner prospect with elite measurables. None of this matters, of course, if he can’t tackle or cover in the pros, which remains to be seen.
Then comes Toby Gerhart, a big, 6’1,” 235 lb. running back with great speed for that size, 4.55 in the forty. He was extremely productive in the Pac 12 at Stanford, but is knocked by some scouts as injury prone, with an upright running style that will get him killed in the pros. He has the size to block in the backfield, but no big reputation for it. For sure, a guy that big and fast should be good for the short yards on third down.
Everson Griffen, a DE from USC, is a great value in the fourth round, rated the third best in the draft and a first round pick by Lindy’s. He measures great, plenty big to play three downs at 6’ 3,” 278, and fast enough to get around the corner, running a 4.64 forty. He played inconsistently, it is said. There are character issues...
In the fifth round the Vikes finally addressed what I thought was there one crying need, on the offensive line. Any lingering doubts Brett Favre would have about coming back again this season would stem from the nasty pasting he took against the Saints in the NFL Championship game. Artis Hicks is gone, we don’t know if John Sullivan or Phil Loadholt are the answers at center and right tackle, and an upgrade from Anthony Herrera would be nice. Watch how Charles Brown does next year, the one remaining high quality OL left when the Vikes took Cook. Anyhow, Chris DeGeare, the guard they picked here, was regarded a sleeper by some. Common wisdom would have them picking any of a number of OLs before him.
The remainder of the Vikings draft look like special teams guys and long shots, except for the very intriguing Joe Webb, QB/WR out of a small southern school in Alabama. The Purple project him as a wide receiver with great size, 6’4,” 220, and amazing speed for a guy that big, 4.44 in the forty. He supposedly has good hands, but needs to learn how to run pro routes. It’s a long shot, but if Webb pans out he could be one of those famous worldbeaters that everyone else overlooked in the late rounds of the draft.
Summer training camp will be here shortly and the endless football season will resume!