Todd Gurley Will Enter the Draft. Should Vikings Take a Chance?
By Dan Zinski
Was a time when Georgia RB Todd Gurley was thought of as a potential top 10 pick (yes, even taking into account the devaluation of the RB position). But that talk ended when Gurley sustained a serious ACL injury, prematurely ending his college season.
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After the injury, Gurley is taking no more chances when it comes to his future. According to reports, the one-time Heisman hopeful will end his college career and make himself eligible for the upcoming draft.
Calculating Gurley’s exact draft value will be tough considering the injury. If we use the Marcus Lattimore situation as a guide, it seems likely that Gurley would land somewhere in the middle rounds. However, there are some who argue Gurley’s injury is not as severe as Lattimore’s and therefore should not affect his draft stock nearly as much.
Given Gurley’s talent, there is no doubt that he will be drafted by someone, injury or no injury. The Minnesota Vikings are one team that could be in the market for a running back depending on how things shake out this offseason. So, it’s natural to wonder if Gurley is a player the Vikings might consider drafting.
This is a tough speculative nut to crack for a number of reasons.
First there is all the uncertainty regarding the Vikings’ running back situation. Adrian Peterson’s future will have to be decided before the Vikings can move forward with any plans to acquire a back. Peterson could be cut or traded, but he could also renegotiate his contract and return to Minnesota.
The Vikings also have a decision to make with Matt Asiata, who will be a free agent. Asiata has not exactly lit up the world for Minnesota but he has been a dependable and versatile back. Bringing back Asiata and teaming him with Jerick McKinnon in a one-two punch running back situation could be one way to go.
Then there is the uncertainty with Gurley himself. How severe is his injury? How quickly can he be expected to return? How long will it take him to get back to the form he showed at Georgia? Will he ever return to being a potentially dominating every-down running back?
Given everything, I would have a hard time using a first or second round pick on Gurley. Once you get down to the third round and beyond, I think Gurley is someone you might consider even with his questionable medical situation.
In the end, it will mostly come down to what the doctors say. If medical people like Gurley’s chances for making a full and speedy return, then he becomes a good risk who might be worth a 3rd rounder. If his long-term prognosis is a little sketchier? Maybe you don’t roll the dice.
There is a lot to take into account here. But there’s no question that Gurley is an intriguing talent and a player a lot of fans will have their eyes on.