The Minnesota Viking’s defense isn’t getting any younger.
With Pat Williams likely entering his last NFL season, Cedric Griffin rehabbing a torn ACL, and Antoine Winfield become a liability in the backfield late in the season, the Minnesota Vikings should look to upgrade their secondary with a young cornerback or defensive tackle.
With top-ranked cornerbacks Eric Berry, Joe Haden, and Kyle Wilson all expected to be taken when the Vikings go on the clock with the 30th pick in the 2010 NFL Draft next weekend, expect them to take a hard look at Patrick Robinson.
Robinson has drawn a lot of praise the last couple weeks as a prospect. His combination strength and size will be best suited as a rolled up corner in two-deep schemes. He is also a solid perimeter defender and has the good size and straight-line speed needed in a starting cornerback.
But he does have his issues. He has been criticized for not being physical against larger ball carriers. He also needs to learn to use his hands to jam receivers off the line, as well as work on his overall body positioning.
Robinson also had durability issues in college and dealt with multiple injuries.
Robinson will benefit from learning from veteran Antoine Winfield, but will more than likely see most of his rookie season making an impact on special teams, much like Jamarca Sanford did last season.
Another route the Vikings could go would be to select Terrence Cody to fill Pat Williams’ void when he retires.
Cody weighs in at 364 pounds and would be a dominant run stopper alongside Kevin Williams. He needs to develop his hand use, reads, and ability to leverage his blocker, but has a high ceiling of potential. He would fit in the best as a nose tackle in a 3-4 defense, but would be a good successor to half of the Williams Wall.
Another route the Vikings might be willing to go would be to select Tim Tebow.
Tebow, who may be enjoying his final hours as a quarterback, will likely be converted into a halfback or tight end, depending on who drafts him.
The Vikings have a reputation for taking the best player available, even if it is not their highest need.
The Vikings drafted Adrian Peterson one year after Chester Taylor ran for 1,200 yards. They also drafted WRs Percy Harvin and Randy Moss…players who had top-ten talent, but had off-the-field issues. All three players won NFC Offensive Rookie of the Year honors.
If Tebow is the best player available, look for the Vikings to address their corner and defensive line in the second and third round.