2010 NFL Draft Grades: Assessing the Minnesota Vikings
Let me start by being blunt: this was a disappointing draft for the Minnesota Vikings, especially taking into consideration how great the last few drafts have been.
When the Vikings traded out of the first round, it was a smart decision. The cornerbacks they were targeting were off the board, so it made sense to acquire more picks and see what fell to them in the second round.
However, the Vikings should have been more aggressive in the first place. Maurkice Pouncey is possibly the best center prospect in ten years. The Vikings could have traded up to get him but instead waited around to make just a decent pick.
There was a ton of buzz around Pouncey, especially with the Vikings and Steelers. The Vikings knew exactly what they needed to do to get him, which was trade ahead of the Steelers; big mistake to not pull the trigger there.
Pouncey would have turned that offensive line into the beast it once was with Matt Birk.
The Vikings saw cornerback as their biggest need, when in reality, offensive center and guard were their biggest needs. John Sullivan is a terrible run blocker, and the Vikings don't even have a backup guard.
Adrian Peterson's "down year" was mostly due to poor run blocking by the center and right guard. That problem will now continue in 2010.
The Vikings also missed the quarterback position. Even if Brett Favre plays two more years, they need a young prospect to develop.
John Skelton of Fordham, who went in the fifth round, should have been a consideration for the Vikings. With two fifth-round picks, the Vikings could have moved up and grabbed him.
Not drafting a quarterback was a huge mistake. The Vikings didn't even try to acquire Jason Campbell, whom they could have had for a future fourth-round pick.
Overall, missing the most important position in the game was a stupid, stupid mistake.
With all that said, the Vikings did make some good picks in this draft. Let's take a look at each draft pick in the 2010 draft for the Vikings:
1. Chris Cook, CB, Virginia (Round 2, Pick 34)
This was a decent pick. Especially considering that the Vikings had no reason to keep that 30th overall pick with Kyle Wilson and Devin McCourty off the board.
Cook is a huge corner at 6'2" and 212 pounds. However, he is not a great tackler, despite his size.
I love Cook's ball skills, as the Vikings' secondary was poor at forcing turnovers in 2009. However, Cook will need to learn to be more physical in run support in the Vikings' scheme.
Let me repeat, however, that the Vikings should have made a play on Maurkice Pouncey in the first round. After signing Lito Sheppard, this cornerback pick was not necessary.
2. Toby Gerhart, RB, Stanford (Round 2, Pick 51)
This was the Vikings' worst pick of the draft. Don't get me wrong, Gerhart is a solid player. However, he came at a poor value.
The Vikings used a third-round pick to trade up to get Gerhart. That is a huge price to pay for a backup running back.
With that third-rounder, the Vikings could have taken Mike Johnson, OG from Alabama (and still drafted an RB in Round 2). Instead, the Vikings got nothing for that pick.
Better yet, the Vikings could have held off on running back, drafted Jon Asamoah, OG from Illinois in the second round, and snatched Joe McKnight of USC in the bottom of the third round.
Asamoah is one of the best guards in this draft and would have contributed immediately at right guard.
Instead, the Vikings get Gerhart, a between-the-tackles bruiser with decent pass-catching skills. Why do the Vikings need another bruising running back?
If the Vikings would fix their offensive line, they wouldn't even need a backup running back for Adrian Peterson. Wasting such an early pick on a backup player was stupid. Just plain stupid.
3. Everson Griffen, DE, USC (Round 4, Pick 100)
This was easily the best pick of the draft for the Vikings. Griffen drew a late-first-round grade from many scouts, so he's a great value in the fourth round.
Griffen's only knocks are an inconsistent motor and inconsistent play recognition. Both of those are easily solved by playing behind the best front-four in the NFL.
Griffen has the physical tools to succeed, so it's up to the coaching staff and fellow linemen to motivate Griffen. If he reaches his max potential, Griffen will be an amazing value in the fourth round.
This was a classic Childress-Era pick: good value. Too bad it took until the fourth round to get a good value pick.
4. Chris DeGeare, OG, Wake Forest (Round 5, Pick 161)
This was a desperation pick for the Vikings, who just needed to grab a guard. DeGeare may start eventually, but he won't play much in 2011. The Vikings need impact players right now.
The Vikings should have made a play for a guard much earlier in the draft, someone who can make an impact this year (how many times can I say it???).
5. Nathan Triplett, ILB, Minnesota (Round 5, Pick 167)
Triplett is a solid run defender and tackler but a liability in coverage. He will add depth at linebacker, a need for the Vikings.
6. Joe Webb, QB/WR, UAB (Round 6, Pick 199)
This was a head-scratcher. The Vikings needed to take a quarterback somewhere in this draft.
Even if Favre returns for two more years, the Vikings need to begin developing a future quarterback. Webb projects as a wide receiver in the NFL, so this pick made little sense.
A quarterback in college who will convert to WR but won't be ready to play WR for a while: dumb pick. The Vikings have no need at WR, especially a developmental project.
7. Mickey Shuler, TE, Penn State (Round 7, pick 214)
8. Ryan D'Imperio, ILB, Rutgers (Round 7, pick 237)
Both of these picks are tough, blue-collar type players. These guys won't blow you away with athleticism, but will play hard.
D'Imperio could be an impact special teams player down the road. Good value for seventh-rounders here.
Overall Draft Grade: C
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