Every few days The Viking Age will sift through all the various camp tweets and other blogs and articles by the Vikings‘ beat reporters to try and get a feel for where the new guys, and some of the older guys who find themselves locked in positional battles, stand at the present time. Obviously, these situations are fluid, and of course these assessments should in no way be assumed to reflect what Brad Childress or anyone else in the Vikings’ organization really think.
Stock Way Up:
Chris Cook. Cook went into camp as a long-shot to win anything higher than a fifth cornerback spot, but now, after a few stellar days, he looks like a legitimate threat to claim at least the nickelback role. Observers are in love with his size, athleticism and ability to go up and get the ball. Judd Zulgad said he is the best-looking rookie in Vikings camp. It would be fantastic to have a young, talented corner playing outside, allowing Antoine Winfield to move inside or, perhaps, to safety.
Logan Payne. Percy Harvin got hurt over the weekend, and has now left the team because of a death in the family. Sidney Rice is on the PUP list with a bad hip. These unfortunate situations opened the door for other receivers to get reps, and former Gopher Logan Payne has been the one to take advantage of it. Judd Zulgad tweeted that Payne is “catching everything.” He’s still a very long-shot to win a spot on the roster, but stranger things have happened.
Chris DeGeare. Once again, injury has paved the way for a younger guy to get reps with the first team. In this case, the younger guy is rookie Chris DeGeare, who stepped in at left guard after Steve Hutchinson hurt his shoulder. DeGeare reportedly looked good in his time at Hutch’s position. Considering Hutch’s age and the injuries he’s suffered the last couple years, it would be reassuring to have a capable guy to step in should something bad happen. And just in general, with Artis Hicks now gone, the Vikes need all the offensive line depth they can get. It may be too early to declare DeGeare a legit threat to Anthony Herrera at right guard, but Brad Childress did say that DeGeare will get snaps at that position. Clearly, Chilly wants someone to push Herrera.
Stock Holding Steady:
Toby Gerhart. Toby had an eventful first couple of days. He signed late and showed up a day late to camp, which irritated the veterans and his coach. Once he did get on the practice field, a couple people noted that he tends not to play through to the whistle. Perhaps wanting to test Toby’s mettle, Pat Williams flattened him during a drill. Toby took it like a man and moved on. We’ll see.
Stock Somewhat Down:
Everson Griffen. A Twitter follower of Judd Zulgad’s asked him which version of Everson Griffen showed up at camp (Griffen being a guy who is sometimes known for a lack of motivation). Zulgad’s reply, “The one playing third team right end.” This doesn’t mean anything yet. But, if Griffen is still playing third team right end by the end of camp…well, then we’ll know we don’t have a new starting defensive end on our hands.
Joe Webb. Those wishing to anoint Joe Webb the future of the Vikings may have been at least somewhat alarmed by the 0-8 performance he put on during drills the other day. Pretty much every assessment of Webb is the same: he has a strong arm but his accuracy is brutal, and he is a long, long way from ever being an NFL quarterback. The lesson? OTAs and minicamp mean nothing. Of course, camp doesn’t mean everything either. Webb could still rebound. But, for now, he looks like a wide receiver playing quarterback.
Topics: Anthony Herrera, Antoine Winfield, Artis Hicks, Brad Childress, Chris Cook, Chris Degeare, Everson Griffen, Joe Webb, Logan Payne, Minnesota Vikings, Pat Williams, Percy Harvin, Sidney Rice, Steve Hutchinson, Toby Gerhart