Draft Day 2: Vikings Trade Up, Draft Toby Gerhart

The Vikings have made what is sure to be one of the most-discussed draft picks of 2010, trading up with the Houston Texans and selecting running back Toby Gerhart of Stanford.

Gerhart had great college stats, but opinion was divided about where he should be picked. Some had him going as high as the 2nd round, while others projected him into the 4th or lower.

Just prior to the draft, Gerhart become embroiled in something of a controversy when he revealed that at least one team made an issue of his race – he is white, and most NFL running backs are not – during an interview.

But that controversy is not why people will be talking so much about Gerhart. The discussion instead will be sure to center on what Gerhart’s selection means for Adrian Peterson, who despite MVP-level talent, has frustrated many fans with his decreasing production and increasing tendency to fumble, especially in big spots.

If Gerhart, a big, bruising, tough back, develops quickly, at the very least, he should get his share of short-yardage and goal-line reps.

One thing Gerhart almost certainly can’t do is replace Chester Taylor as a third-down back. He is not known as much of a pass receiver and there are questions about his blocking.

Perhaps the thinking here is that the durable Gerhart can take some pressure off AD, who has racked up a lot of carries in his few years in the league.

The pick was a surprise, at any rate. And surprises are good.

With the trade, the Vikings gave up their third round pick, meaning they are done drafting for tonight. Unless they trade back up.

Topics: Adrian Peterson, Chester Taylor, Minnesota Vikings, Toby Gerhart

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  • Mike

    I figured out the Vikings draft.

    The NFL is moving toward three backs. Power-scat back AD needs a power back to help him wear down defenses, as well as a scat back for third downs, like Brian Westbrook.

    Apparently, the Vikings decided Albert Young couldn’t beef up enough to serve as a power back. So they needed Toby Gerhart, who was very costly, burning both a late second and late third round pick.

    Since the Vikings had to get a CB to backup their injuries to Winfield, Griffen and even Lito Shepherd, they couldn’t get a free safety with the first or second pick that they didn’t use on a CB (because they had to use it on a RB).

    Moreover, they also couldn’t even get an offensive lineman with the third pick. But their offense will probably still be OK, if they get a utility offensive lineman to replace the loss of Artis Hicks with their fourth pick or free agency.

    But their defense will suffer greatly because the Vikings safeties, especially free safety Madieu Williams, are a joke.

    Considering the Packers have beefed up their offensive line to neutralize the Vikings pass rush and the Cowboys have added a huge third wide receiver, expect teams to pick the Vikings pass defense apart.

    On the other hand, the Vikings improved running game will help Brett Favre’s offense. Moreover other teams like Green Bay and Dallas also went for offense over defense. Expect high scoring shoot-outs!

    If only Albert Young could have served as a power back, I would have preferred a more balanced team with an improved pass defense by picking up a good free safety like Taylor Mays. I would have enjoyed watching Mays crush opposing receivers.

  • Larry

    Comeing into this draft, the vikings had the oppertunity to add much needed debth to a group that was getting a little long in the tooth. Other than the vikings tradeing down in the first round and picking a whimpy cover corner in the top of the second round, who in my opinion don’t fit the vikings aggressive style of play that they expect from there DB’s. This draft was a real head scratcher. We seen the vikings stock pile many picks just to give them away later on a player that could have been avaliable later. They loose an inportant third round pick for a RB that is talented but did not fill the glareing need of a third down back that can catch the ball. It is evadent the vikings can’t let the draft come to them. (remember T Jack). That second round pick should have and could have provided debth at the S,DT or LB spots where there were quality players available and still got the power back they wanted.

    The vikings now have to find the players in FA that they failed to get in the draft. I still think Westbrook will get the chance to fill the third down back need. (see you later Albert Young). What has me worried is the S position. That was the weak link of the D and nothing is being done about it. I have so many questions about this. Are they gona move Winfield to FS? That would be my guess but if he is 100% they need him at the line for his aggressive play. Are they just gona wait for someone elses rejects to be cut loose to fill these needs? This years DT draft was deep but they didn’t draft a DT they drafted a DE but no DT (yes I am scratching my head). They have one of the youngest sets of DE’s in the leauge and a huge need for debth at DT and again there were players to be had.

    I know it’s hard to question a team that has so much success in the last few years in the draft. I sure hope thing work out but they sure leave room for discussion. Let me know what you guys think.