Dec 29, 2011; Orlando, FL, USA; Notre Dame Fighting Irish cornerback Robert Blanton (12) against the Florida State Seminoles during the fourth quarter of the 2011 Champs Sports Bowl at the Citrus Bowl. Florida State defeated Notre Dame 18-14. Mandatory Credit: Douglas Jones-US PRESSWIRE

Vikings Take Robert Blanton In 5th Round


The Vikings kicked off the 5th round by taking Notre Dame cornerback Robert Blanton with the 139th overall pick. First it was USC having two players picked by the Vikings, then it was Arkansas, now it’s Notre Dame’s turn. I’m sure Blanton will have fun chatting away with former Fighting Irish folk in John Carlson, Kyle Rudolph, Harrison Smith and John Sullivan. General manager Rick Spielman joked the other day on a radio interview that he had reached his quota on Notre Dame players and it turns out that was just another smokescreen.

Blanton is 6’1″ and 208 pounds. He was a sleeper pick of NFL Networks Mike Mayock, but when Mayock says it’s a sleeper pick then it’s really not so much of a sleeper anymore. Blanton is a long armed corner who has excellent ball skills, understands tackling angles and is very experienced starting over 20 games for the Fighting Irish. Critics point out he needs to improve his footwork and can get too physical at times leading to pass interference penalties. At the very worst he provides depth in the secondary and has a shot at finding snaps in nickel and dime packages as a rookie.

Maybe with the next Vikings pick they should take someone from Central Florida. How’s rookie Josh Robinson going to feel not knowing anyone as his first day in purple?

Jon Merckle may be followed on Twitter @thevikingpig