What To Expect From the Minnesota Vikings' Rookies in 2010

Tanner ThomsSenior Analyst IJuly 22, 2010

PALO ALTO, CA - NOVEMBER 28:  Toby Gerhart #7 of the Stanford Cardinal is congratulated by fans after they beat the Notre Dame Fighting Irish at Stanford Stadium on November 28, 2009 in Palo Alto, California.  (Photo by Ezra Shaw/Getty Images)
Ezra Shaw/Getty Images

In the 2010 draft, the Minnesota Vikings made a total of eight picks. Four of them were used on offense, four on defense.

Some may have questioned the Vikings' day three picks, but they could have actually been some of the smarter picks out there.

Let's take a look at all of Minnesota's 2010 draft picks.

Round two: Chris Cook, DB, Virginia

Many questioned whether or not the Vikings made the right choice by taking Chris Cook over the likes of Jimmy Clausen and Colt McCoy.

Although taking a quarterback would've made sense, there were many question marks surrounding both of these athletes.

Chris Cook was known for being one of the biggest cornerback's in the draft. At 6'2", Minnesota couldn't ignore Cook's incredible size.

Despite the fact that he likely won't start right away, he will definitely have an impact on special teams and defense nonetheless.

Don't be surprised if you see Chris Cook on the starting roster come 2011. He has that kind of potential.

Hopefully he pans out the way I think he will.

Predicted 2010 stats: 43 tackles, 2 interceptions, 1 forced fumble, 1 fumble recovery

Round two: Toby Gerhart, RB, Stanford

With the 51st pick in the draft, Minnesota fans fully expected the Vikings to go after one of the best college quarterbacks of all-time in Colt McCoy.

However, this did not occur. Instead, Minnesota took the Heisman trophy runner-up, Toby Gerhart.

It wasn't a major shocker that the Vikings took a running back. Over a month prior, Minnesota lost its backup running back, Chester Taylor, to NFC North rival, the Chicago Bears.

The pick received a small amount of criticism because the "experts" thought the Vikings should have went after a speedier back that can catch well out of the backfield.

Despite not being the best receiving running back, Toby Gerhart will definitely be able to catch passes in the flat.

Obviously he won't start unless Adrian Peterson goes down with an injury, but Toby will still see his carries, undoubtedly.

Predicted 2010 stats: 146 carries, 651 yards, 5 touchdowns, 28 receptions, 196 yards

Round four: Everson Griffen, DE, USC

This pick didn't surprise me in the slightest. Not to brag, but I did predict it in an article that I wrote regarding potential choices for the Vikings' day two picks.

Everson Griffen was a first round talent that somehow slipped into the fourth round. I simply have no idea how I can explain or comprehend that one.

Obviously, Minnesota got a steal in Griffen, who could be a future starter on Minnesota's always impressive defensive line.

There is a good chance that Ray Edwards will be gone after this upcoming season if he does not get the big deal that he's asking for.

There are often injuries that occur on the Vikings' defensive line. They also know how to use their depth chart properly.

Although you might not see Everson Griffen on the defensive side of the ball that often, you'll hear his name every now and then.

Predicted 2010 stats: 17 tackles, 1.5 sacks, 1 fumble recovery

Round five: Chris Degeare, OL, Wake Forest

To be honest, I had never even heard of Chris Degeare prior to the selection.

Minnesota usually doesn't make bad late-round picks, so hopefully they know something about Degeare that the rest of us are oblivious of.

At 6'4", 325 pounds, Degeare has solid size that will allow him to create bigger lanes for Minnesota's running backs.

He can play at either tackle or guard, which will be a big benefit to the Vikings' thin depth chart.

He won't see the field unless an injury occurs or the Vikings are up big, but he will have a chance to learn from one of the best guard's of all-time in Steve Hutchinson.

Predicted 2010 stats: 0 games started, 2 games played, 1 sack allowed

Round five: Nate Triplett, LB, Minnesota

I had heard of Nate Triplett because I knew he was on the Vikings' radar. It's not a secret that Minnesota loves to take local talent.

With E.J. Henderson coming off two season-ending injuries in a row, he's very injury-prone, which could lead to Triplett getting opportunities to hit the field.

He'll have to beat out Jasper Brinley for the back-up middle linebacker job, but he'll still get his chances on special teams or late in games.

At 6'3", 250 lbs, Triplett is one of the strongest linebacker's on Minnesota's roster. He doesn't have the greatest speed, but he will not let the opposition go once he has them by their jersey.

With a strong training camp, Triplett will keep on moving up the charts. It'll be exciting to see what comes of him.

Predicted 2010 stats: 12 tackles, 1 sack, 1 forced fumble

Round six: Joe Webb, QB/WR, UAB

Finally the Vikings decide to take a quarterback, but wait, they're switching him to wide receiver!

I don't disagree with the switch to wide receiver because the Vikings will be loaded at quarterback when Brett Favre finally decides that he's returning for yet another season.

Joe Webb is a very athletic player that should see the field when the Vikings decide to run wild-cat plays.

It's no secret that Brad Childress wants to utilize more trick plays this year. Joe Webb will likely be a part of those situations.

He does have an impressive arm, but he would just go to waste on Minnesota's roster as the fourth quarterback.

Predicted 2010 stats: 1 pass, 36 yards, 7 receptions, 98 yards, 1 touchdown

Round seven: Mickey Shuler, TE, Penn State

Yet another one of my predictions that came true. Still haven't received my prize, though.

Mickey Shuler was taken early in the seventh round because he's a solid blocking tight end.

With Jimmy Kleinsasser likely going to hang up the cleats soon, Mickey Shuler will need to be built up to becoming the new primary blocking tight end for the Vikes.

Shuler is another player that won't likely see the field that often unless an injury takes place.

With that being said, Mickey will be known by 2012 if he is kept on the roster, which I hope he is.

Predicted 2010 stats: 2 receptions, 14 yards

Round seven: Ryan D'Imperio, FB/LB, Rutgers

If you want to imagine what kind of player that D'Imperio will be, think of Denver Broncos' stud, Spencer Larsen.

Larsen became the first player in NFL history to start at both offense and defense in the same game.

Don't get me wrong, at this point in time I'm not comparing Ryan to Larsen. Spencer, obviously, is a much better player right now.

With Nafahu Tahi likely to be on another roster come 2011, D'Imperio will need to continue progressing if he wants to become the Vikings' starter in a year's time.

I think he has the potential to be a stud at fullback if he is trained properly, doesn't lose his focus, and works his butt off, constantly.

Predicted 2010 stats: 4 carries, 17 yards, 1 reception, 6 yards

Well, there you have it, folks. These are just my predictions, so naturally, many people will disagree.

Let me hear your opinions!


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