Small Draft Class Makes Big Impact

Posted by Mike Wobschall on January 5, 2010 – 9:49 am

The Vikings tied a franchise low with 5 draft selections during the 2009 NFL Draft. But while the franchise’s most recent draft class is small in numbers, its impact was big.

All 5 members of the draft class made the Vikings 53-man roster coming out of training camp. That’s an accomplishment on its own. But all 5 members of the draft class also started at least 1 game and all 5 were regular contributors throughout the regular season.

Here’s a brief look at each member of the 2009 draft class and how exactly they made their mark on the team this regular season:

Round 1 – #22 Overall
Percy Harvin, WR, Florida

Harvin was the most exciting player in college football during his time at Florida and he brought that flare and swagger with him to the Vikings. He played in 15 games and contributed both as a kickoff returner and a WR. Harvin finished the season with 60 receptions for 790 yards and 6 TDs while also adding 42 kickoff returns for 1,156 yards and 2 TDs, becoming the 1st Viking to ever record 2 kickoff return TDs in a season and in a career. Harvin set a franchise record for all-purpose yardage and also for rushing yards by a WR.

Round 2 – #54 Overall
Phil Loadholt, RT, Oklahoma

The 6-8, 343-pound RT became just the 5th rookie tackle in Vikings history to start a season opener and he went on to play and start in 15 games during the regular season.

Round 3 – #86 Overall
Asher Allen, CB, Georgia

Allen was inactive for the Vikings first 6 games, but he was called upon once CB Antoine Winfield went down with a foot injury and the rookie CB from Georgia came up big. In 10 games played and 1 started, Allen registered 18 tackles, 1.0 sack, 1 INT, 1 FF and 2 passes defensed. He was also a regular contributor on special teams and tallied 4 tackles.

Round 5 – #150 Overall
Jasper Brinkley, LB, South Carolina

There’s simply no way to replace a player such as E.J. Henderson, but Brinkley, a player who has been through injury issues of his own, took some of the sting away with his ability to step into the starting lineup late in the season. Brinkley played in all 16 regular season games and started 4 contests once Henderson was placed on IR. He tallied 24 tackles and 1 tackle for a loss on defense while also adding 11 special teams tackles.

Round 7 – #231 Overall
Jamarca Sanford, S, Mississippi

Sanford led the SEC in tackles during his 4-year career and he had no problem bringing his aggressive style to the next level. He played in 14 games, including 1 start on defense, and tallied 17 special teams tackles, 15 tackles on defense and 1 forced fumble.

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Posted in All, Mike Wobschall | 8 Comments »

8 Responses to “Small Draft Class Makes Big Impact”

  1. By Hornedhelm on Jan 5, 2010 | Reply

    Dam good group

  2. By Chris on Jan 5, 2010 | Reply

    Please put Jamarca Sanford in the starting line-up

  3. By Vikings Fan from Afar (West) on Jan 5, 2010 | Reply

    “Flair” not “flare” I think.

  4. By Canadian Viking on Jan 5, 2010 | Reply

    Thanks Chris, i’ve been saying it for half the season, Tyrell Johnson does not deserve to wear the Vikings uniform.

  5. By Jamesonator on Jan 5, 2010 | Reply

    Thats a pretty good job for all the rookies. I hope we pick a safety or corner in the 2010 draft.

  6. By purplehorn on Jan 5, 2010 | Reply

    Mike you too deserve some honorable mention for bringing this blog on line this season. I enjoy the posts and anticipate it will grow. You are right to point out how successful this group of young guys has been this season. It was a great draft and these guys are all a very talented bunch.

  7. By PurplePeopleEater on Jan 5, 2010 | Reply

    VFfA(West) – Yep, good catch! Flair = Style while Flare = A flash of light used to get attention. Just one of the many stupid english words that has multiple spellings to go with the multiple meanings.

    As far as the draft goes, there are rumors that Winfield is pushing to move back to Strong Safety both because he likes the position more, and because it will extend his career a few more years. It would make for a great opening to bring in a good CB to fill the void.

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