Griffen Sure To Learn Much From Pair Of Vikings DEs

Posted by cjsiewert on April 24, 2010 – 10:05 am

If there’s any indication that Everson Griffen will have a productive career as a Minnesota Viking, it might just be shown by the round in which he was selected.

Griffen joins a DL core that has a number of great players – Jared Allen, Ray Edwards, Pat Williams and Kevin Williams.  The mentoring from this group of DL will surely be of great value for Griffen, but he might be able to relate best to a pair of Vikings DEs that share a very similar draft experience to that of the rookie DE.

Both Ray Edwards and Brian Robison were selected in the 4th round in the NFL Draft by the Vikings – Edwards as the 127th overall pick in 2006 and Robison as the 102nd overall pick in 2007.

Edwards and Robison have both had dynamic careers thus far as Vikings and the production they have shown over the past couple of seasons may set the bar for Griffen.  I cannot speak for either Edwards or Robison but I am sure that both of the former 4th round selections are excited to work with and tutor the 6-3, 273 pound rookie from USC.

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Part II: 2nd Round Draft Picks Under Spielman

Posted by cjsiewert on April 24, 2010 – 9:25 am

Yesterday I pointed out the quality of players that have been selected in the 2nd round since Vikings VP of Player Personnel Rick Spielman joined the Vikings.  Looking back at the Vikings picks in the 2nd round of this year’s draft, it looks as if Spielman has a good chance to continue his reputation of selecting quality players in the 2nd round of the draft.

Round 2, Pick 2 (34th overall) – Former Virginia CB Chris Cook comes into a Vikings secondary unit that is currently recovering from injury (Cedric Griffen and Antoine Winfield) but has also added a veteran in CB Lito Sheppard.  As Mike pointed out yesterday, Cook has a nice blend of size – 6-2, 212 pounds – and speed, and perhaps his greatest attribute is position flexibility.  Cook has a great skill set and has the ability to contribute to the team in many ways, whether that is in the secondary or on special teams.

Round 2, Pick 19 (51st overall) (Trade from Texans) – The selection of former Stanford RB Toby Gerhart has alleviated many concerns by the Vikings faithful in regard to the backup RB position.  If Gerhart earns the #2 role behind Adrian Peterson, he is sure to add a bruising style of running that the Vikings haven’t seen in a while.  It will be interesting to see if the Purple decides to use both Peterson and Gerhart in the backfield at the same time, whether that is in split back or I-formation will be shown in due time.

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More Analysis On Griffen

Posted by Mike Wobschall on April 24, 2010 – 9:04 am

A talented Vikings defensive line got much more talented on Saturday morning with the selection of Everson Griffen. By all accounts, Griffen is a 1st round talent but some minor off-field concerns as well as consistency and effort level questions might have caused him to slip in the draft this year.

To be fair, the off-field concerns and consistency issues are not something with which I’m too familiar, so I’ll give him a chance to explain those. And, the truth of the matter is, what happened in the past matters much less than what will happen going forward. As Vikings Director of College Scouting Scott Studwell said earlier this morning, it’s not as if Griffen is a bad person. The Vikings have made clear their commitment to finding good people who are also good football players, so I’m confident Griffen will fit in well with the type of players Vikings VP of Player Personnel Rick Spielman and Head Coach Brad Childress have brought in under the Wilf ownership.

Anyway, here’s some more analysis from Studwell and also on Griffen…

Studwell: “He’ll see the sense of urgency. He’s coming from a program that competes and plays hard every day in practice. So he’s going to come into our tempo and understand it; I think he’ll buy into it quickly.” analysis: “The Vikings get a top-25 talent in the fourth round with the addition of Everson Griffen. The energetic pass rusher has excellent initial quickness, and his ability to pressure the pocket will undoubtedly earn him minutes in a deep Vikings rotation. This is an excellent value pick for the team, regardless of his off-field issues.”
Studwell: “He can play both sides. He’s big enough to be a base end. He’s athletic enough to be a right end. He can also go inside nickel as I said before. He’s got a lot of versatility. He actually could probably be a standup player in a 3-4 (defensive scheme). We’ve got a new toy and we may put him in a lot of different places.”

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Studwell On Griffen: “Too Much Ability To Pass”

Posted by Mike Wobschall on April 24, 2010 – 8:51 am

The Vikings got to work early on Day 3 of the 2010 NFL Draft by using their only (as of now) 4th round draft pick on Everson Griffen, a 6-3, 273-pound DE from USC. Griffen was projected to go much higher in this year’s draft, but concerns of inconsistency may have hurt his draft stock, according to

Speaking with reporters immediately after the pick, Vikings Director of College Scouting Scott Studwell acknowledged the concerns that come with Griffen, but also expressed excitement and optimism about adding a player as talented as Griffen to the roster.

“He’s got all the athletic traits that we’re looking for in a defensive lineman,” Studwell said. “He can play on both sides, he can probably also go inside on nickel. He can run, he’s athletic.

“The consistency level has to improve somewhat in his play. There were games where he was a first round pick and games when he would disappear. But he’s got great value where we took and I think he’ll blossom as a pro.”

Studwell said the Vikings were confident that tutelage from DL coach Karl Dunbar and the presence of players such as Jared Allen and Kevin Williams in the meeting room will help Griffen improve and blossom as an NFL player.

The selection of Griffen is another example of the Vikings sticking to their philosophy of drafting the best available player and not drafting based on need. Studwell said Griffen was the highest-rated player on their board at the time and they decided to move on him even though DE wasn’t a position of need.

“It wasn’t a priority position for us,” Studwell said. “We’ve got some pretty good defensive ends on our team right now. But he just had too much ability to pass.”

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A Few Names To Keep An Eye On

Posted by Mike Wobschall on April 24, 2010 – 8:07 am

A couple of weeks ago Don Banks of unveiled his 2nd annual “Wes Walker Watch List,” which points out players who would be drafted late or would not be drafted who could make an NFL roster.

Of the players on that list, we identified 3 who might be good fits with the Vikings. Now that we’re on the 3rd day of the 2010 NFL Draft, let’s re-visit those names and see where they are drafted today.

QB Tim Hiller – Aside from good size (6-4, 229 pounds), I also think Hiller fits well with the Vikings because he was a 4-year starter in college who played quite a bit under center, rather than playing primarily in a spread offense out of the gun formation. I don’t know about his injury history and I haven’t seen his arm tested, so I won’t say he’s a perfect fit for the Vikings. But there is evidence that exists that might point to him being a solid candidate for the Purple.

OT Ramon Harewood – He measures in at 6-7, 355 pounds and Banks said the offensive lineman “is a physics and engineering major who wows scouts with his blend of intelligence and physicality.” The Vikings tend to target versatile linemen when searching for depth, and I’m not sure if Harewood can play multiple positions. But I am sure the Vikings are also looking for good football players and if they think Harewood has a future, he might be on the roster once draft weekend concludes.

Speaking of offensive linemen with position flexibility, Iowa State’s Reggie Stephens projects as a G/C combo at the NFL level and could be another candidate to provide depth along the Vikings offensive line. Banks points out that Stephens wasn’t invited to the Combine, which isn’t a positive, but the 6-3, 314-pounder has prototypical size for a versatile linemen and he fits a favored characteristic of the Vikings in that he played 4 years in college.

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Vikings Remaining Draft Picks

Posted by Mike Wobschall on April 24, 2010 – 7:21 am

The Vikings have been busy during the first 2 days of the 2010 NFL Draft and it looks like they’ll be busy yet again today as rounds 4-7 take place. With 6 picks in the draft’s final 4 round, the Vikings are certainly likely candidates to do some shuffling – trading up or down – before all is said and done.

The action begins today at 9:00 a.m. CT and we’ll be live chatting right at 9:00 to kick things off.

Here are the Vikings picks in rounds 4-7:

Round 4: 2nd (#100 overall) [Drafted DE Everson Griffen]
Round 5: 30th (#161 overall), 36th (#167 overall)
Round 6: 30th (#199 overall)
Round 7: 7th (#214 overall), 30th (#237 overall)

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