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Vikings Top 3 Have Knack For Impact Plays

Posted by Mike Wobschall on April 24, 2010 – 3:10 pm

The Vikings roster is one that contains 10 Pro Bowlers from 2009 and it’s also one that came up just short of advancing to Super Bowl XLIV. So for players drafted by the Vikings this year, cracking the starting lineup – let alone the 53-man roster – is going to be a tall task.

But one way to quickly catch the eye of NFL coaches and make a case for a roster spot is to make impact plays that could potentially change games. And in looking at the first 3 Vikings 2010 draft picks, I see a trio of players with a knack for making impact plays in college.

The key for them now is to bring their playmaking ability to the next level, something that’s easier said than done. We won’t know whether or not these top 3 picks can get the job done until they hit the field. For now, though, let’s take a look at their playmaking histories during their college careers.

DB Chris Cook – #34 overall – 143 tackles, 19 pass breakups and 7 INTs at Virginia
RB Toby Gerhart – #51 overall – Averaged 5.2 yards per carry and had 43 career TDs at Stanford. He was a Heisman Trophy runner-up after a 2009 season that included 27 rushing TDs
DE Everson Griffen – #100 overall – 21 tackles for a loss and 18.0 sacks for the USC Trojans

With so many of the Vikings starting roster spots already filled and with the team coming just 1 game shy of the Super Bowl last season, many Vikings fans were looking for the franchise to add a player or 2 who could potentially make a difference for the 2010 season. So while the additions of Cook, Gerhart and Griffen may do the Vikings well in the future, a quick peek at their college careers reveal they may have the ability to make impact plays as soon as this season.


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Posted in All, Mike Wobschall | 44 Comments »


44 Responses to “Vikings Top 3 Have Knack For Impact Plays”

  1. By Tommy T on Apr 24, 2010 | Reply

    Mike.. I agree with you the top 3 will be nice additions, but were they the BEST decisions. i dodn’t think so. I think the value wasn’t there, except, again, as I have stated, I love the pick of Everson Griffen based on his 1st round value at the 4th round. Every pick from the 5th on didn’t represent the value. there were higher graded players on the board. In fact, the Rutgers LB wasn’t even among the top 63 LBs in the USA Today draft guide, nor even graded with any information on NFL.com.. I hope they are on the phone trying to get Michigam CB Donovan Warren in as a FA… It’s guys like him that are graded out at 7′s they need to take risks on, not guy ungraded or in the 2′s like Shuler and DeGeare. ICK… I give this draft a C.. had they done better from 5 on, this could have been a B+ to A-. ICKY ICKY ICKY

  2. By evan on Apr 24, 2010 | Reply

    i give it a B

  3. By IRAMOE on Apr 24, 2010 | Reply

    Yea. . . what he said!!

  4. By Tommy T on Apr 24, 2010 | Reply

    Mikey… USA Today draft guide had Chris Cook ranked 66th… NFLdraftscout (the CBSsports.com service) had him at 51, and the NFL.com (the OFFICIAL NFL site) had him at 70… The Vikes drafted him at 34??? Trading up to get Toby??? They panicked, and could have done a better job. Even if Tate and Toby are gone round 2, the big OL Charles Brown went last in Rd 2, we could had him..There were better valued players on the boards when they selected. Top 3 picks are B, but the rest are Ds for a C Grade. ICK..

  5. By Ben on Apr 24, 2010 | Reply

    I gave it a B. Cook was an alright draft considering he will fit the vikings defensive scheme perfectly – I don’t know if we should have taken someone else like Nate allen, or someone else but overall pretty happy. Very excited about Gerhart, I think that was an A Grade pick, very happy Spielman. Also very happy with everson griffen, his draft value was meant to be like in the 1st round, so obviously we got the good end of the stick on that one lol Yeah but I think you’re right about the last three picks, kinda mehish players, hopefully they have the potential to become something bigger

  6. By TheDevilsGarden on Apr 24, 2010 | Reply

    I was concerned the team did not pickup Clausen but I like the faith the have in Jackson. I don’t mind the the Cook pick. We need big corner for some big receivers in the division. And Toby Gerhart…outstanding pick. Some will hate this and think we desperately need offensive line but we had a good pickup in Chris Degeare. With the Toby Gerhart pick the vikings just got another moster running back. The questions about this pick will stop when the gets the ball in his hands and he starts running. And Everson Griffen, this could be the steal of the draft. This pick was worth taking a chance on. If lives up to expectations the vikings will continue to have the best defensive line in the NFL. Good draft.

  7. By Lance on Apr 24, 2010 | Reply

    It’s like this folks….if we win the super bowl all these picks were genious picks and if we don’t make the super bowl then the draft was questionable. I say let’s give these young kids a chance to prove themselves.

  8. By Shay on Apr 24, 2010 | Reply

    Joe Webb was a horrible pick. We should have gotten Pike

  9. By TheDevilsGarden on Apr 24, 2010 | Reply

    I believe they did not pickup Pike because they know Farve is coming back and that would leave 4 quarterbacks on the roster (if picked). It is actually kind of good news. I’m sure Joe Webb will be a project on the practice squad for a separate position, Safety? Receiver?

  10. By matt on Apr 24, 2010 | Reply

    we stilll need a qb, undrafted or something, how many chances is t jack going to get. hes not a clutch qb and rosenfels in a backup lifer

  11. By Nathan on Apr 24, 2010 | Reply

    Now although i questioned this draft… i believe that the spot for Chester T. has been filled. I really hope Cook will shine like Percy H. ans Rice did given the chance… aka Farve. What i mean is that if our D-line is puttin pressure on the QB.. Cook will make some excellent plays.

  12. By Tim on Apr 24, 2010 | Reply

    The top three picks I give an A-, the rest of the draft may have a difficult time making the team. The vikes are already incredibly deep and most of the weeknesses have been addressed. Farve is coming back, sooo.., the only thing we did’nt accomplish is getting a QB for the future. The top three picks take care of win now issues. I give 2 grades.., A for win it all the next 2 years and a C for the future.

  13. By Ben on Apr 24, 2010 | Reply

    Webb wasn’t actually drafted by the vikings to play quarterback, if you read the transcript on the home page, you’ll see that he is transitioning into a wide receiver, and of course will be useful in a wildcat play.
    Interestingly, D’Imperio who was listed as a linebacker, was actually drafted by the Vikings as a fullback, so it is clear to me that the Vikings drafted people in mind of their versatility as well as their skill set. Hope this clears up any confusion over their last few picks

  14. By keith on Apr 24, 2010 | Reply

    It seems to me that the vikings best picks were the last three. They need a quarterback who can learn something from Brett Favre(if he comes back). However, The TE from Penn State may be okay except that the vikes already have 3 TE that are very good so why would you even make a pick at a position that you may end up trading away anyway. Then the LBmay be alright they needed size in the middle at that position. The other picks even though they were higher picks there’s virtually no speed, not much size for the positions and the one guy they say is physically gifted isn’t going to be able to figure out how to block against the defensive line.

  15. By Ben on Apr 24, 2010 | Reply

    No Keith
    that is all

  16. By Carl on Apr 24, 2010 | Reply

    shula was a alright pickup he is a tall athletic tightend to pair up with shank to cause mismatches. I see the vikes going for that power hard nosed offense.

  17. By Mistavista on Apr 24, 2010 | Reply

    How can you grade players before they’ve played? Do all the grading you want now, doesn’t mean anything until the end of the season. How the players fit into the team and how they perform will dictate what grade I give them. Right now, I just want to welcome the new Vikes and let em know their fans are the best in the NFL.

  18. By dccmperryml on Apr 24, 2010 | Reply

    I gave it a C or B- at best. Alabama’s DT could’ve helped in the 2nd rd plus there were a fair amount of OT’s that were proven this draft and Gearhart was a REACH to me from a team that has a legitimate title-contending team intact. Bret is coming back but AP needs to shore up the fumbles for us to succeed this year.

  19. By dccmperryml on Apr 24, 2010 | Reply

    Maybe these were financial draft pick-ups for us. If they don’t fit or pan out in 2-3 yrs then they can be traded or released for little or no harm to the team nucleus of players.

  20. By John on Apr 24, 2010 | Reply

    Why did the Vikes not draft QB T. Pike and instead draft Tavaris Jackson 2 . . . I mean QB Joe Webb?

  21. By Karter on Apr 24, 2010 | Reply

    I will give this one a C- at best because we had so many picks and we didnt capitalize on it we got three good players maybe four and even then if we were gonna take a good corner we should have taken patrick robinson in the first round or sombody good instead of cook. we might as well have traded the resot of our picks to some other teams so that we could get a bunch of 2nd and 3rnd picks next year because im pretty sure that only gearhart, cook, and griffen are going to be on this reasy roster everyone else is either going to practice squad or getting the boot. also there are still really good corners that didnt get drafted who we could still pick up along with Tackels and Linebackers

  22. By Karter on Apr 24, 2010 | Reply

    Tommy T speaks the truth listen to him

  23. By zbl on Apr 24, 2010 | Reply

    Disgusted with the Chris Cook pick. Could have had him at 62. Could have traded the 34th for a pick in the 50s to get Toby Gerhart. Love Gerhart pick as far as the player, I just think they could have had him at 62 as well, or if they followed my advice and traded back from 34 to the early 50s and could have picked up an extra pick plus could have kept the 93rd.

    In my scenario;
    51. Toby Gerhart RB
    62. Chris Cook CB
    93. Mike Johnson OG
    100. Everson Griffen DE
    three fifth rounders, a sixth rounder, and two seventh rounders

  24. By zbl on Apr 24, 2010 | Reply

    Also, after picking Everson Griffen, Minnesota just quit and picked a bunch of practice squad dummies. You can’t waste picks like this in the NFL. You have to get quality Special Teamers and solid Linebackers. We got a bunch of unranked rejects.

    Overall, I give this Draft a C-

  25. By zbl on Apr 24, 2010 | Reply

    Cook; C-
    Gerhart; B
    Griffen; B
    DeGeare; C
    Triplett; D
    Webb; D
    Shuler; C
    D’Imperio; F

    4.85/12.00 Draft GPA; C-

  26. By Matt on Apr 25, 2010 | Reply

    Why did we not go for Taylor Mays. We have serious issues at the safety position and he hits like a mack truck which is perfect for our let them catch the ball in front of you defense. At least he has a chance of knocking the ball loose with a hit.

  27. By Bigfan1 on Apr 25, 2010 | Reply

    These top three are going to be animals in the NFL, three pieces of the Super Bowl puzzle that we needed.

  28. By Tommy T on Apr 25, 2010 | Reply

    dccm, ZBL and Karter… thanks for agreeing with me… Let’s add one more that agrees with us… Take him for what he’s worth, but Mel Kiper Jr has been an institution on the ESPN broadcasts, and when he’s on national TV, and post-draft analysis conversation comes up as whicch teams were the biggest draft winner and draft losers, mel Kiper looks into the camera, and again, on national TV, says the biggest loser was the Minnesota Vikings.

  29. By JC Vikes on Apr 25, 2010 | Reply

    I read in a report that the Vikings draft by best available on the board, not according to need, I say this draft year nothing could be further from the truth, Mays was the best available in all of the 2nd round, which Vikings had 2 picks, Gerhart might be a good pick, but not worth a 2nd and 3rd round pick and our probleam is with our secondary, not our running game, we have plenty of them already and the way they wasted away our last 4 picks, should of tried to combine them and trade them for a hire pick.
    My grade D+

  30. By Tommy T on Apr 25, 2010 | Reply

    Here’s my point, folks… Rick Spielman address the media after the draft and tells us about guys like Triplett (“great special teams player”), Webb (his athleticism fit what we like and we will try him at WR) and the LB picked 7th (he used to play fullback in HS, so we are looking at him)… Taylor Mays is 6-3 230 lbs, runs a 4.32 and hits like a cannon. Why wasn’t his athleticsm in the mold you want? if you think you can take a piece of clay and mold him into the player you want in Webb and the LB from Rutgers, how can they tell us that they had Chris Cook higher on the board than Mays???… They contradict themselves. If they continue to tell us they can mold players, then take the higher rated Taylor Mays – not 60th ranked Chris Cook. The point of our ramblings is that, although they took quality players, they were NOT the best options on the board, and they have to realize that. Maybe the good, after this draft, is that in 2011, Jon Gruden will be explaining the picks.

  31. By Benson on Apr 25, 2010 | Reply

    Griffen is a nice pickup, if he can keep his head straight and bring that high motor to the nfl he will be one reckless defensive end. He certainly doesn’t play like the 100th overall pick, he better not have work ethic issues because he has so much potentials.

  32. By JC Vikes on Apr 25, 2010 | Reply

    As far as I know, we do not need WR’s, so that was a bust, we don’t need TE’s, so that was a bust, we don’t need a FB, that was a bust, and as far as I am concerned we did not have a serious need for a RB either, but our immediate need was for a S and it was perhaps one of our biggest needs, along with a CB, we added 2 of those though.

  33. By Jeff G on Apr 25, 2010 | Reply

    I’m a huge Vikings fan from Canada. Thought overall the draft went pretty well – give it a B. I suspect there were some issues with Mays when his old college coach – now with the Seahawks – didn’t go after him in the draft.

    I was just curious as to how many draft selections you should realistically expect to have long term impacts on a team that selects from the #30 position? In my opinion, you’re doing well if you select three players who’ll still be with the Vikes 4 or 5 years from now. I believe the first three picks in 2010 will do that – and Griffen – if he takes adantage of the mentoring of the other Vikes DE’s and veteran players – has Pro Bowl potential down the road.

    All in all – I think the Vikings did pretty well. My only concern is if Favre doesn’t come back this year. Regardless, I think priority #1 for next year’s draft – assuming there is not a trade – will be getting our QB for the future. A number of experts said that the quality of QB’s available in the draft were poor this year. I’m wondering how many “blue chip” college QB’s will be available in the 2011 draft?

  34. By Bob on Apr 25, 2010 | Reply

    Passing on Claussen–huge mistake. The first three picks, I would rate a b minus,
    from there all downhill. First three players will be impact players, the rest, I hope
    they can make the practice squad. With a team loaded with so much talent, will
    be hard for any player to make the team. I think Griffen & Gerhart will have the
    biggest impact.

  35. By Stellar on Apr 25, 2010 | Reply

    Nothing is guaranteed with the draft. We can speculate all day long whether or not these picks are the best for the Vikings neeed’s. History shows that late round and undrafted players have just as much impact in the NFL than top picks. Its all about what fits for the system we are using. I agree with a previous comment about having selected Mays simply because of his physical presence. Like a Rodney Harrison type. Fits perfectly with the soft pass defensive scheme we tend to use. I cant remember when the Vikings have had a really aggressive hitter in the 2ndary. All in All, I have to put my trust in the Vikings front office believing that they know what they are doing. Other than passing on the likes of Leon Washington from the Jets, Only 1 thing we needed to draft in the last round was a cheerleader. Im so tired of Ragnar or whatever his name is. Get a bodybuilder in there, dress him up like Thor. Represent power vs. drunk guy on a bike. Every time we score a TD, lightning should come from his Hammer!

  36. By Jeff on Apr 25, 2010 | Reply

    The Vikings have been outstanding at the draft over the past several years, I will take their gut that these were the players to get. Cook: 4 INT’s his senior year; Gerhart is came out of Stanford’s passing system as a great blocker ( now for Farve on 3rd downs ) and 27 TD’s, similiar to the former all-pro TB fullback; the OT and DE players are being mentored by the best in the NFL ( did great for Phil L. last year, he started right away ); the QB and LB picks are projects at WR & FB, I like their attitues about hard work. Grade: B+ CAN’T WAIT FOR THIS SEASON

  37. By Bagley on Apr 25, 2010 | Reply

    TOMMY T stop talking KIPER is a tool, it sound like you are too. he often gets more wrong than right unless its completely obvious. Todd Mcshay had a higher rating on cook, and lower ratings on both classen and mays.cookm has very simuliar tangibles to Mays. vikes worked him out i believe he was one of thier guys. spielman, studwell, chilli known what they are doing, we are lucky to have them. Chilli will be and should be our coach next yr and the future. Gruden dont be dumb. we need a steelers approach to coaching and front office. get your guy and stand by him.

  38. By Bagley on Apr 25, 2010 | Reply

    even tho mcshay did knock our TOBY pick as not being a good complement

  39. By Howie on Apr 25, 2010 | Reply

    Before we close the door on these draft picks lets
    give them a chance to prove themselves.! The best
    may be the worst, and the worst might be the best.
    Only competing will answer that.

  40. By JIMTHEBASSMAN on Apr 25, 2010 | Reply

    After watching the results of the Viking’s draft, all that I conclude is that the people in the draft room celebrated a lot after the first 3 picks and drank too many drinks!!!!! The Vikings picked up some throw away picks!!!!! Tell me 1 team that picks a quarterback, and knowing we have nothing except for maybe Booty, picks a quarterback that you know will only make it as a “WIDE RECIEVER”. STUPID!!!!!! YEAH……POTIENTAL…..STUPID!!!!!!!!!! RIGHT….If Farve comes back, we have a chance for a SUPERBOWL, BUT…What happens after this year……NOTHING!!!!!! I like the first 3 picks, well except for the maybe CB, probably saftey..DUH…WHAT HAPPENED????? I don’t blame the coaches and scouts and GM for laughing at the interveiws. if I liked the Packers, Bears or Lions, I would be laughing afterwards too!!!! Why waite for 3 years from now, go ahead give them a big X now. What happened to our draft??? Except for 2 players, WHAT POSITIONS ARE THESE PLAYERS PLAYING FOR, WATERBOY, or do they have to waite for preseason to figure it out!!! After watching what had happened, I think they might not know until after 5 years considering how dumb these people are!!!!!!!

  41. By Purple Heart on Apr 25, 2010 | Reply

    Everyone reserve judgment until the end of the season. Not every pick can be a glamorous one like Percy Harvin. Our coaches and staff held individual workouts with most of these players. Obviously, they know things that we don’t! So, stop slamming Spielman and the coaches. I agree with Bagley- Tommy T, you sound more like a tool than a vikings fan, maybe you should blog on the Lion’s website.

  42. By SD vikes fan on Apr 26, 2010 | Reply

    webb will play wr and the lb from rutgers (our last pick) he will backup tahi at fb

  43. By Tom on Apr 26, 2010 | Reply

    STELLAR, Joey Browner hit like a mack truck! SD, Webb and the LB will not be in purple during the reg season.

  44. By Stellar on Apr 26, 2010 | Reply

    TOM: Good point. How could I forget about Browner. Ok.. so I should restate saying we haven’t had that kind of presence in a long time. 8^). I was at the 1994 Vikings vs. Pats game. Yelling at Dungy not to play prevent in the 2nd half (I was at the 50 yard line front row.. could throw a drink on Dungy) but he ignored me. Bledsoe’s rookie year, came out in the 2nd half after the Vikes were up 20-3 and torched the Vikings. I remember saying to myself.. If Browner was playing safety, this would have never happened!!!!

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