2010 NFL Draft: How Toby Gerhart's Selection Affects Adrian Peterson

Ryan CookFeatured ColumnistApril 24, 2010

PALO ALTO, CA - NOVEMBER 21:  Toby Gerhart #7 is congratulated by Chase Beeler #72 of the Stanford Cardinal after Gerhart scored a touchdown against the California Bears at Stanford Stadium on November 21, 2009 in Palo Alto, California.  (Photo by Ezra Shaw/Getty Images)
Ezra Shaw/Getty Images

It came as a mild surprise to learn on Friday that the Minnesota Vikings had selected hard-hitting running back Toby Gerhart with the 51st pick in the NFL Draft.

Minnesota, who arguably still are in need of a young quarterback that can stand behind Brett Favre should he choose to return next season, have gone against most peoples strong opinions and drafted a running back that was arguably amongst the best in the nation throughout his college career.

For the Toby Gerhart fans out there like myself, I think I speak for everyone in saying there is no better fit for Toby Gerhart than the Minnesota Vikings. 

An argument can be made against why the Vikings chose Toby Gerhart over a quarterback that looked to be Brad Childress' sole priority, but after careful consideration a Toby Gerhart acquisition makes all the more sense.

Although this move makes the Minnesota Vikings all the more dangerous on the running game, and noticeably puts them in prime position to once again win the NFC North division, one man may be feeling just the slightest bit of pressure now that Toby is in town.

Adrian Peterson has suffered through his fair share of criticism as of late, especially in regards to his lack of motivation and game play in the playoffs last season. For the most part, everyone is still on the Adrian Peterson bandwagon, but right now it's quite easy to say that Chris Johnson easily overshadows him as the best running back in the league right now.

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So how does Toby Gerhart affect Adrian Peterson? If you go to in depth with this question, you'll find that there really is no answer. Adrian Peterson is still the heavily favored starter in Minnesota, however Toby Gerhart will be hot on his heels especially if Adrian fails to convert easy goal line touchdown plays.

Aside from how this negatively impacts Adrian Peterson, there is also a positive side worth mentioning. 'The motivation factor' is a term used a lot these days, and hopefully having a potential star running back such as Toby Gerhart on the Vikings roster will boost Adrian to dizzying new heights as he once again returns back to his "bang for your buck" form.

The other point is, we may just be lucky enough to see a New Orleans Saints like mix and match style running game. Now that Deuce McAllister is well and truly retired, the Saints often reached success by placing Reggie Bush on midfield plays, and Deuce McAllister on goal line situations.

Is this an option for Brad Childress?  I don't see why not.  Adrian has become a little fumble prone as of late, and with Toby's size and fairly sticky hands the ball will be safe tucked away under former Stanford stars hands.

Overall, this is a very positive move for the Minnesota Vikings. Some fans will criticise it, but at the end of the day Toby Gerhart is an underrated runner that has about two overall problems to work on.

He isn't quick, but he's strong and he isn't the greatest receiver but he can block. Toby Gerhart keeps Minnesota on the right track.