Dec 23, 2012; Houston, TX, USA; Minnesota Vikings running back Toby Gerhart (32) runs the ball against the Houston Texans in the fourth quarter at Reliant Stadium. The Vikings defeated the Texans 23-6. Mandatory Credit: Brett Davis-USA TODAY Sports

Toby Gerhart on Trading Block?

After getting selected in the second-round of the 2010 NFL Draft, RB Toby Gerhart has been a very dependable caddie for Adrian Peterson.

Sep 9, 2012; Minneapolis, MN, USA; Minnesota Vikings running back Toby Gerhart (32) against the Jacksonville Jaguars at the Metrodome. The Vikings defeated the Jaguars 26-23 in overtime. Mandatory Credit: Brace Hemmelgarn-USA TODAY Sports

Gerhart is a workhorse of a running back who offers above average pass-protection.  He is also entering a contract year with the Minnesota Vikings and their ability/need to resign him may not be priority with Adrian Peterson’s remarkable comeback leaving very few carries to be had.

As ESPN 1500 Twin Cities’ Tom Pelissero mentions, Gerhart is a potential candidate to be traded this offseason.  There are teams currently searching for starting running backs like the Pittsburgh Steelers, Green Bay Packers, New York Jets and the St. Louis Rams who could value an established player like Gerhart over a prospect.

If traded before the draft the Vikings would be lucky to pull more than a fourth-round pick, in my opinion, but in this draft that fourth-round pick has pretty good value.  Even if they don’t trade Gerhart on draft day, they could still use a day three selection on a running back and consider trading Gerhart in training camp as Pelissero states.

In my latest mock draft, I have the Vikings using a seventh round pick on Pittsburgh Panthers’ RB Ray Graham.  Graham has the ability to develop into a great NFL third-down running back.  The Vikings were high on RB Jordan Todman, who was signed off the Practice Squad by the Jacksonville Jaguars.

Not only do the Vikings have to think about the future in regards to the positions depth but they also need to replace Percy Harvin who operated as a pass-catching threat when lined up out of the backfield.  Harvin was also the primary kick return specialist.

The Vikings could look even earlier in the draft, say rounds 3 or 4, at a player like Clemson’s Andre Ellington who is a dual threat as a runner and receiver or Stanford’s Stepfan Taylor who is a solid between the tackle runner with outstanding protection skills.  Another option could be Oregon’s Kenjon Barner who is an explosive running back that can be a dynamic return threat in rounds 4 or 5.

Having 11 draft picks in 2013 allows the Vikings to be able to address a position like running back without ignoring other pressing needs on both sides of the ball.

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Tags: Adrian Peterson Andre Ellington Kenjon Barner Minnesota Vikings Percy Harvin Ray Graham Stepfan Taylor Toby Gerhart

  • Mandooooo

    I don’t get why we wouldn’t get more from Toby, a second rounder, with plenty of tread left and has a nice body of work to show what he can do. However, as much as it pains me to say, I think we should try and see what we can get for him. (We SHOULD be doing that with Webb as well… but we’d probably have to GIVE a pick to a team for them to take Webb off our hands). Toby is just too good for us to keep him as a backup. It was a smart move when AD got hurt, but now that he is back, better than ever, I do believe we should try and trade him (just not to the Pack…that would be DUMB.)

    • David Thayer

      I second that. He is not helping or hurting us having him. He would be far better value as a trade for the organization. We really need to get a 3rd down RB that can catch out of the backfield. That element to the viking offense has been missing since chester taylor was let go. Percy tried was good. but you need to keep your WR’s down the field to open up underneath potentials like that. they help each other out. short screen sets up the longer pass and vice versa.

    • Rob

      He’ll never bring a 2nd round pick. Every NFL analyst has pushed the point that RB’s have gone down in value. Two examples: Morris, Redskins — 7th round pick, 1000+ yards in 2012, and no RB taken in this year’s 1st round, first time since the 60′s that has happened. The league is moving more to the passing game, and a team that has a 2nd round pick to give up would likely prefer to use it on a guy who will be 3 years younger and healthier. It will not happen. A 4th, maybe. And I’d take it if someone offers, because he’ll almost certainly want to leave in free agency a year from now. A compensatory pick would be no higher than a end of 3rd round pick (high 4th) anyway, and could be later than that.

  • Daniel Laxen

    Look at the situation in free agency if you need to see why RBs are a dime a dozen unless you are AP and the cat from Houston. If the Vikings were to get a 4th round pick that would be great. There are still quality RBs available unsigned…