Heisman Runner-Up Gerhart Will Complement Peterson Well

Posted by Mike Wobschall on April 24, 2010 – 5:36 pm

Early in the build-up to the 2010 NFL Draft, CB and backup RB were 2 positions squarely in focus for the Vikings. Starting CBs Cedric Griffin and Antoine Winfield are recovering from injuries and the Vikings saw RB Chester Taylor defect to the Chicago Bears.

As the draft drew nearer, backup RB became less of a perceived priority because of the Vikings comfort with Albert Young as a potential replacement for Taylor and also the news of Darius Reynaud switching from WR to RB. Also, the Vikings signed free agent CB Lito Sheppard just 1 day before Thursday’s 1st round, which caused many to shift CB down the priority list as well.

But all of that didn’t stop the Vikings from using their first 2 draft picks on players at those positions. With the 2nd pick in the 2nd round – obtained from the Detroit Lions via trade during the 1st round – the Vikings selected CB Chris Cook out of Virginia. Soon after, the Vikings used their original 2nd round choice and their 3rd round pick to move up into the middle of the 2nd round and tab RB Toby Gerhart as well.

During his post-draft press conference, Vikings VP of Player Personnel Rick Spielman acknowledged that CB and RB were 2 areas of the roster he wanted to address during the draft

“I knew the corner was the one thing we definitely wanted to address even though we signed Lito Sheppard right before the draft,” Spielman told reporters. “Then Toby Gerhart, again, you have to look at your depth and if something were to ever happen to Adrian Peterson, knock on wood, where is your depth behind Adrian? You just have to make sure you have enough runners behind him in case something, I don’t want to talk about it, but just always make sure you have good depth behind him.”

The selection of Gerhart – a physical runner with a bruising running style – caught some off-guard because the perception is that he doesn’t possess the same traits as Taylor (receiving skills, shiftiness, etc.). But Spielman’s point remains – drafting Gerhart was as much about fortifying the depth behind Peterson as it was about replacing Taylor.

On top of all that, though, Spielman also mentioned that Gerhart, who was the runner-up in 2009 Heisman Trophy balloting, does have the skill set that can be used in important 3rd-down situations.

“Toby is, again, a very physical runner,” Spielman said. “I don’t think people realize the type of receiving skills that he does have out of the backfield and the type of blocking skills that he does show, especially in pass protection.”

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Posted in All, Mike Wobschall | 17 Comments »

17 Responses to “Heisman Runner-Up Gerhart Will Complement Peterson Well”

  1. By evan on Apr 24, 2010 | Reply

    hope so, be sweet if both got over 1000 yards

  2. By PJE on Apr 24, 2010 | Reply

    “The selection of Gerhart – a physical runner with a bruising running style – caught some off-guard because the perception is that he doesn’t possess the same traits as Taylor (receiving skills, shiftiness, etc.)”

    Nice deflection considering the big question all week has been the fact that a lot of teams didn’t want him because of the color of his skin.

  3. By Carl on Apr 24, 2010 | Reply

    Lets hope childress utilizes this guy and not make him stand on the sidelines. I remember watching alstott, it was a headache watching him make so many 3rd and shorts. That way way back when bucs were in the vikings division.

  4. By Bigfan1 on Apr 24, 2010 | Reply

    I am so happy we have Gerhart, I couldn’t believe it when the Vikings picked him. Watching film of this guy he’s like the modern day Csonka only much faster, power with speed. This kid is going to be one of the greats. What a fantastic addition to the Vikings. I can’t wait for the season to start.

  5. By GoGerhart on Apr 25, 2010 | Reply

    This guy is gonna be fun to watch with Peterson most punishing backfield now

  6. By Bigfan1 on Apr 25, 2010 | Reply

    Like an NFL Network commentator said the Vikings with their current backfield are going to “bludgeon” their way to a Super Bowl.

  7. By Vikings_fan72 on Apr 25, 2010 | Reply

    Love the Gerhart pick. But 1 thing i am having problem with is what Favre is up to. We will need a Qb if he don’t come back. No confidence in T.J. at all.

  8. By Lito on Apr 25, 2010 | Reply

    Good job Vikings on the draft. I hope they can now find a huge beast defensive tackle from the non-drafted class, in place of Pat Williams who may retire next year. I thought there were reports of possible trade with the Redskins for Haynesworth. Can you imaging an Edwards, P. Williams/Haynesworth, K. Williams, and Allen defensive front. The Vikes would easily be number one on defense. It is highly likely B. Favre comes back. If not, then the Vikes miay get into the playoffs, but I’m not sure if they can win the Super Bowl. With Bret and the addition of RB Gerhart, TE Shuler, QB/WR Webb, and LB/FB D’ Imperio; Vikings are poised to win their first Super Bowl. First SB win during the Vikings 50th anniversary celebration. Wow! That may well translate to a new state-of-the-art football stadium in Minnesota. Good luck and God bless you in your quest for that elusive Super Bowl title. Go Vikings!

  9. By VikingsLifer on Apr 25, 2010 | Reply

    Too bad the Vikings didn’t select a quarterback that could play right away. We know Brett can play but his unending drama is a serious drag on the team. Tell him to either commit and show up for training camp or let another guy run the offense.

  10. By Jonah Odenthal on Apr 25, 2010 | Reply

    this is gonna be a great season, im so happy, pretty god draft, the Vikings are gonna be fun to watch!

  11. By Dennis on Apr 25, 2010 | Reply

    I think that Brett is coming back and i believe that the Vikings know he’s coming back. Why kill the story and put an end to all the speculation? Every one has fun with it plus its great publicity for the franchise.

  12. By Marshall4HOF on Apr 25, 2010 | Reply

    Thought we had a ok draft, very happy with Gerhart. E Griffen was a steal at the top of the 4th. But where’s the safety we needed? M Williams is not the playmaker we need back deep. There was more than a few decent prospects available in the late rounds.

  13. By Tom on Apr 26, 2010 | Reply

    LIFER, Favre is over 40, we know what he can do, the players want him back, leave it alone. Who else will run the show? TJ, Sage, no shot for superbowl.

  14. By John on Apr 26, 2010 | Reply

    Brett signed a two contract and I believe he will honor it; the draft went well considering I pick selection. After all, seven rounds equates to the best 200 plus college players in the United States. Everybody gets caught up in the drama of the top pick is! Remember all the other players they too can be prime time given the oppurtunity and committment by our team. The Vikes are to win the divsion ( 3 peat) and the conference and then the Super Bowl.

  15. By Al J on Apr 27, 2010 | Reply

    I haven’t seen anyone talking about what had to be a very important stat for the Vikes when jumping 11 spots to snag Gerhart.
    In 4 years at Stanford,
    671 touches,
    3,522 yards,
    43 Touchdowns.

    And, NO FUMBLES. Maybe he’ll be available to do ball handling clinics for the veterans.

  16. By Danny on Apr 27, 2010 | Reply

    The deal with Favre supposedly now isn’t that he’s being wishy washy but that his ankle is still messed up from the NFC championship game. With the addition at RB now maybe we can run even more and protect Favre. He’ll be back.

  17. By Troutlord on Jul 8, 2010 | Reply

    I’ve been going to Stanford Football since 1972. This guy is the greatest player except for John Elway I ever saw. An absolute bruiser and much shiftier then given credit for. He’s like if Larry Cszonka had had halfback skills. catches the ball well-wasn’t asked to do it much. He averaged over 200 yrds. per game against ranked teams. If he sits it will be a shame. My Lions are doomed as long as U have A.P. & Toby-U could bring back Fran Tarkenton & it wouldn’t matter.

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