Continuing our countdown of the top 25 Vikings of 2014 with the man at #21…
CB/PR Marcus Sherels
Like the man at #24, Larry Dean, Marcus Sherels is another UDFA who has made the most of his opportunity through hard work and the willingness to take on any role.
Sherels showed his true value in 2013 not just through his usual fine performance as a punt returner – he has developed into one of the better return men in the league – but through his spot work as a cornerback. The Vikings secondary was hit hard with injury last season and Sherels was always there when called upon, either to fill in at slot corner or on the outside.
Sure, there were times when Sherels looked absolutely overmatched at corner, but he never stopped battling and all-in-all he held up admirably given his physical limitations.
You look at a player like Chris Cook, who possesses considerably more physical ability than Sherels, and wonder what kind of player he would be if only he had Sherels’ guts and heart.
How many times has Sherels been counted out in the past few years? Every training camp we talk about someone taking Sherels’ job as the punt returner (it was Bobby Felder last year, remember?). And every training camp, when the dust settles, Sherels still has the job.
No doubt, there will be talk this training camp about Sherels being moved on. Jerick McKinnon may get a look as the punt returner and the Vikings have a whole bevy of rookie and veteran corners to audition as they try to fill in the secondary depth chart.
But you know what? If I had a dollar to bet, I’d put it down on Sherels leaving camp with the team, still as a backup corner and punt returner. The intangibles put Sherels over the top.