Versatility Key For 2010 Draft Picks

Posted by cjsiewert on May 17, 2010 – 10:45 am

One of the Vikings strong points during the 2009 season was that many of their star offensive players could fill more than just one specific role.  WR Percy Harvin posed a threat as a runner, receiver and return specialist, RB Chester Taylor was a complete RB with his blocking, running and pass catching abilities, WR Sidney Rice could run deep routes and catch quick crossing patterns and TE Visanthe Shiancoe emerged as one of the league’s premier TEs with 11 TD receptions.

This versatility doesn’t look to be fading for the 2010 season and it may become even stronger with the addition of a few draft picks.

It is evident that the Purple lost a versatile RB in Taylor, but with his loss comes the addition of former Heisman Trophy runner-up Toby Gerhart.

Gerhart, drafted in the 2nd round of the 2010 NFL Draft, will look to fill the void left by Taylor’s departure by adding more of a bruising style of running game that the Vikings haven’t seen since the days Leroy Hoard ran through and over defenders during the 1998 and 1999 campaigns.  Versatility will be key to Gerhart’s production as the Vikings will likely ask him to pass block, run the rock and catch the ball out of the backfield.

Another player that just may as well define versatility may turn out to be the steal of the draft’s later rounds.

QB/WR Joe Webb, selected in the 6th round (199th overall), was drafted by the Vikings with the intention of converting to WR.  Webb showcased his receiving abilities during the Vikings 3-day rookie minicamp a couple of weeks ago, but according to this Star Tribune report, Webb was also given the chance to throw the ball around.

With the addition of Gerhart and Webb to the Purple’s offense, it is clear that there will be no shortage of versatility, but this strength runs deep on the defensive side of the ball as well.

The 4th round selection in April’s draft of DE Everson Griffen will be sure to add depth and a great resource to the Vikings defensive front.  Griffen will have the opportunity to showcase his versatility with his great hand use and impressive speed.  Although it’s been over 4 years, Griffen has already proven his versatility by toting the ball as a high school RB, which has given him a greater understanding of what’s happening on both sides of the football.  Griffen knows that his versatility will be helpful to the Vikings defense but he also understands the way in which he can contribute.

“I’m going to bring enthusiasm, excitement and try to make big plays and just play my role,” Griffen told reporters on Day 1 of the Vikings 3-day rookie minicamp. “That’s the biggest thing, coming in on your rookie year you just got to play your role.  That’s what I’m going to do.  Play my role.”

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Posted in All, CJ Siewert | 9 Comments »

9 Responses to “Versatility Key For 2010 Draft Picks”

  1. By Lito on May 17, 2010 | Reply

    Versatility is good. But Vikings offensive line need improvement. Opponents know that to beat the Vikings they have to maul Bret Favre. Go Vikings!

  2. By vikelifer on May 17, 2010 | Reply

    right on the mark lito,protecting Favre is the key to the season it starts with N.O.They didn’t even have a big name pass rush.And they tore up the Vikes O-line.They should have addressed it in the off season.Cus they money they are paying those scrubs is unreal.I’ve been a Viking fan for 40 years and I felt this was the best chance to win it all but the O-line didn’t do their job from mid season on.

  3. By MGR4FUN on May 17, 2010 | Reply

    the purple presently indicate 18 offensive linemen on their roster competin for 5 positions that are … presently filled by a pro-bowl LT / perenial all-pro (HOFer to be) at LG / a young 2nd yr center that stepped in admirably when birk chose to move on / a lunch pale RG that plays his heart out for 60+ minutes every game / and a RT that can block out the sun and as a rookie proved he will lock down that position for years to come … ya still want some versatility ya say so we draft a young man outa wake forrest that is a natural guard at 6’4″ and 325# however was the best athlete on his team and the coaches asked him to play left tackle his sr yr in the ACC … hmmm … more flexibility with our 1st selection in the draft we grab mr cook a 6’2″ 212# cb that can play corner / nickel / safety / and best of all is willin to play special teams and be very special … still want more huh … got the BPA in the 4th round a DE / DT? that is a physical specimen just needs some “DUNBAR TIME” … and arent we greedy we want more … an olb that wants to play special teams and obtw will likely be the startin fb by mid-season … webb and gerhart will be the main attractions of the rookie class but dont say i didnt giv ya all a heads-up on some really fun purple football of the future

  4. By MGR4FUN on May 17, 2010 | Reply

    i do hav a question regardin DE Everson Griffen i know at 6’3″ and 273# he is pretty svelte … what do ya all think are the possibilities of this young man maybe bein able to play at the linebacker position … i know he has football savy and has shown some quickness and speed … just wonderin what ya all might think about that versatility

  5. By cjsiewert on May 17, 2010 | Reply

    Director of college scouting Scott Studwell mentioned after the draft that the coaching staff will explore the possibility of Griffen playing OLB and that his versatility (must be the word of the day) was a big factor in selecting him in the 4th round.

    Thanks for pointing that out, MGR4FUN. Another way the Vikings added versatility in this year’s draft.

  6. By Arrowhead on May 17, 2010 | Reply

    i don’t buy the “teams are going to keep hitting favre” bit. look at history, the baltimore colts did a similar thing to joe kapp in the 68 playoffs by continually hiitting him and then injuring him, which resulted in the loss of the game. the next year in the regualr season, the pulled the same blitz but kapp managed 7 touchdowns against them. it’s all a matter of how favre is going to read the defense. which is the same case with all quaterbacks.

  7. By Jones on May 18, 2010 | Reply

    History is just that, history. Farve got hit WAY too much last year, and most were because of poor pass protection by the OL. Now, you might argue that the coaching staff didn’t do much to help them with the protection packages they schemed, but the fact is they didn’t get the job done. What’s the cure? Heck, I dunno, but it would be nice to see our QB be able to plant his foot after a 5 or 7, heck even a 3 step drop. Here’s hoping they can get it figured out this year, as I would guess this is their last/best chance to make it to the big game for some time (until Wilf figures out that Childress’ infatuation with Jackson is unhealthy for the team)…. that is, assuming #4 returns.

  8. By inandoutburger on May 18, 2010 | Reply

    The vikings o-line has troubles picking up the blitz, I’d say the best thing to get them prepared for that is let our defense blitz them on every play in training camp. They always seem to be missing assignments and not picking up the right man. Its a mental problem more than adding another lineman. They all have to be on the same page. Don’t get me wrong they are good at run blocking, but terrible on pass protection. If you noticed teams that blitz the vikings a lot are successful against getting to the qb fast because they collapse and getting manhandled on assignments. Childress needs to tell frazier in mini camp to blitz a lot to get the lineman prepared. Playing against a 3-4 defense can be confusing also because you don’t know who’s coming or not.

  9. By FITE on May 18, 2010 | Reply

    I just wonder if they’ll use more of a two back offense with Gerhardt as the FB and then split the third down duties between Peterson/Gerhardt/Harvin & even Young. Could help out as a max protect package with a couple of safety valves in the RBs. Of course that depends on how dependable the RBs are at catching the ball (and hanging on to it).

    Ahh, wth do I know, I’m no o-coordinator!

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