Earlier this offseason we identified Everson Griffen as one of eight Vikings poised for a breakout season in 2012. As the offseason progressed, it became increasingly clear that we weren’t alone in being excited about Griffen’s NFL future.
Few players this offseason have been on the mind of Vikings fans more than Griffen. The consensus among fans is that Griffen is too talented to not be on the field, and there are a growing number of fans who want to see Griffen make the transition from DE to LB. Whether Griffen is asked to make that switch or not remains to be seen. What is clear, though, is that Griffen is viewed by most as a player on the rise.
The latest illustration of this point comes from Aaron Schatz of Football Outsiders (via ESPN Insider). Schatz has pointed to Griffen as one of the NFL’s top 25 prospects under the age of 25. In his study, Schatz analyzed a pool of players with the following criteria: drafted in the 3rd round or later; entered the League between 2009 and 2011; fewer than 5 career games started; still on their rookie contract; and age 26 or younger in 2012.
Of the top 25 players who fit into each of those categories, Schatz ranked Griffen as the 3rd best, behind only Seattle WR Doug Baldwin and New Orleans DE/LB Martez Wilson. Schatz says this of Griffen: “He’s supremely talented, with an explosive burst off the edge and good inside quickness. He provides coverage almost as readily as pass-rushing prowess, which is very important for a team that likes to drop defensive ends into coverage as often as Minnesota does. The Vikings are trying to figure out ways to get Griffen on the field more often, and may use him as a linebacker in some packages next season.”
That analysis of Griffen is a common one among Vikings fans, so we can add Schatz to the growing number of football followers who view Griffen as a talent on the rise.
Tags: Everson Griffen
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