The Minnesota Vikings traded down and sometimes out of some rounds to gain some talented players further down the NFL Draft board. Minnesota’s top three picks should see plenty of playing time, while the back end of their draft includes project players that may never pan out. Overall Minnesota had a cautious draft and if two of the last five picks even make the practice squad, Minnesota will call it a success.
Minnesota Vikings first NFL Draft pick and 34th overall Chris Cook.
The Vikings traded out of the first round of the NFL Draft to nab their cornerback Chris Cook from Virginia with the Detroit Lions second pick in the second round. Cook will be a solid addition to the Minnesota secondary and should find some playing time, especially if Cedric Griffin is out on the first weekend of the NFL season.
Cook is tall for a corner at six foot two inches but this will help against some of the tall receivers in NFC North. Cook is fast and has shown a fast closing rate when it appears he has been burned. That closing rate leads to interceptions and crushing hits that will make for a reputation around the league. Cook will play for Minnesota in the 2010 NFL season.
Minnesota Vikings second NFL Draft pick and 51st overall Toby Gerhart.
Toby Gerhart the running back from Stanford will fit in perfectly with Minnesota. Gerhart will jump right into Chester Taylor’s spot in the Minnesota offense, but he will add the dimension of a punishing runner that Minnesota needs as a change of pace back for Adrian Peterson.
There are two keys that will lead to success with Gerhart in the Minnesota backfield. Gerhart is a solid receiver out in the flat from the running back position and Gerhart does not fumble the ball. Gerhart may get carries down inside the Minnesota red zone if Peterson begins coughing up the ball again in 2010. Gerhart will play in every Minnesota game during the 2010 NFL season.
Minnesota Vikings third NFL Draft pick and 100th overall Everson Griffen.
Everson Griffen the defensive end from USC saw his value fall like a rock since September of 2009. Griffen was a projected first round pick and Minnesota gets some value by taking Griffen in the fourth round of the NFL Draft. Griffen has been knocked for lack of effort in his years at USC and that may also have contributed to his tumble down NFL Draft boards.
Griffen will be a solid addition to a Minnesota defensive line that will be dealing with some suspensions to start the 2010 NFL season. Griffen will have to hit the ground running and may see substantial playing time in the first four Minnesota games. Griffen will play a lot the first few weeks of the 2010 NFL season and if he plays well, will stay in the line up.
Minnesota Vikings fourth NFL Draft pick and 161st overall Chris Degeare.
Chris Degeare the offensive lineman from Wake Forest is a bit of a gamble but for a late pick he is worth a shot. Degeare was ruled academically ineligible in 2008 and has received low marks for stamina and learning his blocking schemes. No one questions Degeare as a physically gifted lineman though. Degeare will ride the bench for the entire 2010 NFL season.
Minnesota Vikings fifth NFL Draft pick and 167th overall Nathan Triplett.
Nathan Triplett linebacker out of Minnesota won’t have to travel far for his pro job. Triplett will add depth at linebacker and he is not the faster player but has a nose for the ball and can play well against the run. Triplett will get the majority of his playing time on special teams and occasional run situations.
Minnesota Vikings sixth NFL Draft pick and 199th overall Joe Webb.
Joe Webb a quarterback out of UAB is a talented all around prospect reminiscent of Tim Tebow. With Brett Favre coming back for one more year, Webb wouldn’t have been on the field anyway so look for Minnesota to try to involve Webb as a receiver. Webb will see some action but not until mid way through the 2010 NFL season.
Minnesota Vikings seventh NFL Draft pick and 214th overall Mickey Shuler Jr.
Mickey Shuler Jr is a blocking tight end from Penn State. Shuler Jr may find some playing time since he is a smart blocker that is accustomed to grinding it out in the running game at Penn State. Look for Shuler Jr to not only get playing time, he may be a starting tight end by mid season.
Minnesota Vikings eighth NFL Draft pick and 237th overall Ryan D’Imperio.
Ryan D’Imperio a linebacker out of Rutgers is a typical last pick by most NFL teams. D’Imperio was picked mainly to make the special teams unit but he will add more depth to the linebacker position if he makes it through camp. D’Imperio will play in the 2010 NFL season on special teams but probably won’t take the field as a linebacker.
NFL Network NFL Draft live coverage April 22-24, 2010.
ESPN TV NFL Draft live coverage April 22-24, 2010.
NFL.com player profiles.