Minnesota Vikings: What Players May Be Suited Better for a Different Position

Nick McAndrews@@NickMcAndrewsCorrespondent IIIMay 31, 2011

Minnesota Vikings: What Players May Be Suited Better for a Different Position

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    MINNEAPOLIS - NOVEMBER 09:  Running back Ryan Grant #25 of the Green Bay Packers carries the ball against cornerback Antoine Winfield #26 of the Minnesota Vikings on November 9, 2008 at the Metrodome in Mineapolis, Minnesota.  The Vikings won 28-27.  (Pho
    Stephen Dunn/Getty Images

    It's no secret the Minnesota Vikings still have some holes on offense and defense after the draft. 

    They are still weak on their offensive line and are missing some key roles on defense.

    Free agency is an option to fill their needs, but as of right now free agency is not available. 

    In coaching roles, it is not uncommon for teams to promote from within to fill needs in coaching positions. 

    My question is, why not players as well?

    In college football, players switch positions to help the team in any way possible. That same mentality should be found in the NFL

    Here are five players I think could have success at a different position.

Chris Cook: Safety

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    EDEN PRAIRIE, MN - CIRCA 2010:  In this handout image provided by the NFL,  Chris Cook poses for his 2010 NFL headshot circa 2010 in Eden Prairie, Minnesota.  (Photo by NFL via Getty Images)
    Handout/Getty Images

    Chris Cook was drafted by the Vikings in 2010 as a cornerback. It is well known he has a history of knee problems. 

    Many thought he had the potential to be a starter for the Vikings at some point, but repeated injuries sabotaged his rookie season. 

    Cook tore both menisci in his knees. Though this is an easy fix, these injuries never allowed him to play to his full potential. 

    I think Cook may be better suited to play safety. 

    If he is allowed more space in the open field he may not be as prone to injuries through pass coverage. 

    The Vikings have great need at safety. In my opinion, neither of the two starters they currently have are adequate. 

    Cook may have more success playing safety over cornerback. 

Phil Loadholt: Guard

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    EDEN PRAIRIE, MN - CIRCA 2010:  In this handout image provided by the NFL,  Phil Loadholt poses for his 2010 NFL headshot circa 2010 in Eden Prairie, Minnesota.   (Photo by NFL via Getty Images)
    Handout/Getty Images

    Loadholt started to mature into a solid offensive lineman towards the end of the 2010 season. 

    At right tackle, Loadholt struggles in protecting against the pass rush. 

    He leads the offensive line in holding penalties simply because he is too slow to block defensive ends. 

    I think Loadholt may be better suited to play guard instead of tackle. 

    He has a lot of potential and can do some damage in the run game. If he is allowed to play against slower defensive tackles he may find more success in pass protection. 

    In my mind, the Vikings could either bring in a veteran player to replace left tackle Bryant McKinnie, who severely lacks motivation. Then they could move McKinnie over to the right side. 

    The Vikings offensive line could desperately use a facelift, moving Loadholt to guard would solve a lot of problems. 

Toby Gerhart: Fullback

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    EDEN PRAIRIE, MN - CIRCA 2010:  In this handout image provided by the NFL,  Toby Gerhart poses for his 2010 NFL headshot circa 2010 in Eden Prairie, Minnesota.  (Photo by NFL via Getty Images)
    Handout/Getty Images

    Gerhart was drafted in 2010 to be the backup to Adrian Peterson

    He showed glimpses of potential throughout the season, but spent most of his snaps either blocking or running up the middle in short yardage situations. 

    Sounds like a fullback to me. 

    Gerhart certainly has the size and the ability to play fullback, the only issue would be the lack of depth at halfback which could be easily solved in free agency. 

    Vikings fullback Nafahu Tahi is a free agent this offseason, Gerhart could help the team save some money and move up to fullback. 

Brian Robison: Outside Linebacker

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    EDEN PRAIRIE, MN - CIRCA 2010:  In this handout image provided by the NFL,  Brian Robison poses for his 2010 NFL headshot circa 2010 in Eden Prairie, Minnesota.   (Photo by NFL via Getty Images)
    Handout/Getty Images

    I know, I know, I'm crazy, but hear me out.

    The Vikings could face a very likely future without outside linebacker Ben Leber. He is a free agent, and at 33 very unattractive to resign. 

    Robison just signed a three year, $14.1 million contract with the Vikings. 

    The defensive end hasn't seen much in the way of starting time, but has shown glimpses of potential in a limited role. 

    It isn't uncommon for defensive ends to switch to outside linebacker, especially when they don't have the right size to play on the line. 

    At 6-foot-3, 253 pounds, Robison is slightly too small to play defensive end. He could see some more success at linebacker.

    Moving Robison to linebacker could also allow the Vikings to keep Ray Edwards, who is emerging as one of the better defensive ends in the division. 

Antoine Winfield: Safety

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    EDEN PRAIRIE, MN - CIRCA 2010:  In this handout image provided by the NFL,  Antoine Winfield poses for his 2010 NFL headshot circa 2010 in Eden Prairie, Minnesota.   (Photo by NFL via Getty Images)
    Handout/Getty Images

    At 33 years old, Antoine Winfield has shown no signs of slowing down—at least not yet. 

    He is the best cornerback on the team, and arguably the best tackling corner in the NFL

    As many veteran corners switch to safety late in their career, I suggest Winfield do the same. 

    Because he is such a great tackler and possesses great leadership ability, I think he would be a great fit to play safety in the Vikings Tampa 2 defense—one that is so demanding of the team's safeties. 

    Once his body starts to slow down a little bit, safety could be a much better fit for Winfield. 

    This would allow him to mentor younger corners, while still being on the field.

    This switch would be a win for the Vikings and for Winfield.