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.”
Tags: Everson Griffen, Joe Webb, Toby Gerhart
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