2nd Round #2 (34) Chris Cook, 6’2, 212 lbs CB/FS, Virginia:
The Vikings went with a need based pick after losing on the bet that Patrick Robinson would still be available at this pick. Chris Cook is a versatile player with excellent size who will be able to move to Free Safety when the need arises. Cook should be well-suited for the Vikings cover-2 zone scheme and will compete with last year’s 3rd round pick Asher Allen for the nickel corner. In my opinion, the Vikings should have picked Patrick Robinson right where they were at the end of the first round or moved up a couple spot to secure Kyle Wilson which probably wouldn’t have cost all that much. Or, instead of reaching for Cook, grabbed the best player on their board, whoever that may be.
2nd Round #19 (51) Toby Gerhart, 6’0, 231 lbs, RB, Stanford:
Personally, my head-scratching moment of the draft. Gerhart is a bruising inside-the-tackle runner who has been extremely productive in college. No doubt he will be a productive NFL player who will be enough to fill in for Peterson if he goes down. However, he is not filling the Vikings third down back need. Chester Taylor’s strength as a pass catching running back (44 receptions last season) gave Brett Favre a highly reliable safety valve. All the Vikings needed was a role player Kevin Faulk type running back, a Darren Sprole or Leon Washington type. Instead they went with another star bruiser. Now, think of 3rd and 4 where Chester Taylor was deadly. What will the Vikings do next season? Have AD on third downs? He certainly is a better pass catcher at this point than Gerhart anyway. Expect the Vikings to struggle more on 3rd downs next season and this could easily cost the Vikings another trip to the NFL Championship.
4th Round #2 (100) Everson Griffen, 6’3, 273 lbs, DE, USC:
Griffen is an explosive defensive end who graded as a first round pick but fell all the way to the 4th round because of off-the-field question marks very much like Ray Edwards a few years back. Griffen should contribute immediately as a situational pass rusher.
5th Round #30 (151) Chris Degeare, 6’4, 325 lbs, OG, Wake Forest:
Degeare is a developmental project who has all the athletic tools to be an effective offensive guard but who has never really put it together on the field. Expect him to be sent to the practice squad. The Vikings really drafted based on needs instead of best player available and that’s disappointing when players like Reshad Jones or Dezmon Briscoe are still on the board.
5th Round #36 (167) Nate Triplett, 6’3, 250 lbs, ILB, Minnesota:
The Vikes grab one of the local kid who will be a developmental project and will probably top out as a special team player and adequate backup. Triplett was productive for the Gophers in his only season as a starter but lacks the athleticism and coverage abilities to be more than a 2-down backup linebacker.
6th Round #30 (199) Joe Webb, 6’3, 223 lbs, QB, UAB:
Webb will move to wide receiver at the next level and he offers some intriguing athletic abilities. Strictly a developmental project for the next few seasons. Guys like Tony Pike or Myron Rolle were still on the board, just saying.
Grade: B-7th Round #7 (214) Mickey Shuler, 6’4, 251 lbs, TE, Penn State:
Shuler will probably be Jimmy Kleinsasser type who will eventually be effective as a blocking TE. Don’t expect him to catch too many balls in his career.
7th Round #30 (237) Ryan D’Imperio, 6’2, 230 lbs, LB, Rutgers:
D’Imperio may contribute as a special team player if he makes the team.
Overall grade: C