Minnesota welcomes Cook and Gerhart – Say Goodbye to Rnd3

Okay, so it was another interested morning of stories to wake up to, not quite what I was expecting, but relatively pleasing nonetheless.

With our 34th overall pick taken from the Lions we took Cornerback Chris Cook, a 6’2″, 210lb’er who gives us added security at a position which was not only questionable last year, but was looking very shaky going into 2010 with various injuries, especially the ACL issue with Cedric Griffin. He could also offer cover at safety, and should work well in our defensive set-up. But it wouldn’t be the Vikings unless he had some sort of “past”, and for Cook he missed large parts of his college career, through injury and also suspension for “academic reasons”.  But he showed real quality when he came back after his trouble and put up good numbers in the combine, and the Vikes staff too notice.

And then rather than waiting for our next pick at 62nd overall, the mighty Brick suddenly had a bit of a sinking feeling and felt the need to trade up at 51st to grab Toby Gerhart, a Heisman runner-up-running back. A very exciting prospect who will back up Peterson in 2010 and can also catch and block, a fullback with tailback legs, the heart of a lion, and the gills of Aquaman.

So two things can be taken from this, one that we picked up two players in positions that needed strengthening, and they seem to be good picks. The second is, however that we grabbed two players from the first 3 rounds, which is a little less positive.

The Gab sums up the understandable disappointment at this, but I’d like to add my two cents to it because I’m of the opinion that we actually did pretty well in strengthening rather than pasting over the cracks with more players of lesser quality. I’m a draft rookie so I’m not so well versed in the intricacies of trades for position, I understand wanting to move up and down, but when you are the team giving away trades you have a extra dimension to consider because you have something to lose as well as gain.

In the case of our first three rounds, many fans feel that there is the nagging feeling we didn’t need to lose a 3rd rounder and could have ended up with our draft bag a little fuller. Let’s say that in Round 1 we didn’t give up a pick and grabbed the CB we ended up picking yesterday, okay, so we don’t have some extra picks from the Lions, but we still have our man. Then going into round 2 we have two options, we hold our horses and wait until our original pick, hoping that Gerhart is still around or just pick the “best player available” which was apparently our drafting policy, or we do what we did, and lose a 3rd rounder to trade up for Gerhart anyway, essentially what we did yesterday.

Now, and I hope I’m making sense here, if we didn’t give up a round 3, we probably wouldn’t have gotten Gerhart, so while we would have had 2 players to compliment Cook, maybe, just maybe they wouldn’t have added up to the quality of Gerhart. So was our original decision that bad given what we got? I don’t think it was, we got great players at the key positions. We are not a team in desperate need of big changes, we are Super Bowl contenders who need a little tinkering ad we still have plenty of picks going into today, including an upgraded 4th rounder and an extra in round 7, so I’m hoping that Brick knows what he’s doing, and we end up with the right personnel.

So I’m staying positive, and I also need to stress that there is no point in judging our draft until it is well and truly over. So roll on tonight, and hopefully Brick will show us that there is method to their apparent madness.

And once again, welcome to Chris Cook and Toby Gerhart, may your futures be Purple and prosperous.

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Go to yellow alert! – Are you sure sir? It does mean changing the bulb.

Over the past couple of weeks, news on the Vikings has gone from the insanely mind-numbing antics of Bryant McKinnie, to full blown, bat-sh*t-crazy rumours, linking big name free-agents to the Purple. Yesterday we saw LaDainian Tomlinson and Randy Moss touted as the next Chester Taylor or Bernard Berrian, and now Brian Westbrook, who is due to be released from the Eagles is another potential suitor to back up Peterson in 2010.

As with the LT rumours yesterday, news of Westbrook has got the keyboards of the Vikings faithful clacking away. I’m inclined to agree with Adam Warwas that Westbrook is a better fit for the Vikes than LT. But like I pointed out yesterday, I’m still rather attached to the Toyota Camry nature of Chester, as opposed to the Lamborghini-esq stature of a player like Westbrook (more explosive than a Ferrari, but also even less reliable, bear in mind that in 8 seasons he has never played all 16 games!). Of course if our hand is forced by Taylor wanting out then I’d take Westbrook, but hopefully our boys can convince Taylor to stay. Westbrook certainly would add a special something to the offence, but even if he only played on 3rd downs, I’m not totally convinced that we would be able to rely on his fitness.

An option that was pointed out to me yesterday by a reader, was drafting running back Toby Gerhart, and as fate would have it, the lovely people at the Gab happened to scout the fellow on the same day. It’s a real mixture of good and bad points with this guy from the report. On the one hand he’s a big bugger, able to crash through defensive lines and gain important short yards, which would be very helpful if he were to replace Chester Taylor. But on the flip-side he has a tendency to fumble, has limited catching skills and with his skills centred around his strength, he might not last long against the behemoth defenders in the NFL. In car terms he sounds like a brand new pickup, tough looking, but the engine hasn’t been broken in, and it is often finished with a cheap interior that is about as flimsy as a pancake. It is too easy to concentrate on the negatives, especially the fumbling which we are all sick of, but that can be fixed and his strength in short yardage situations could make him a very good fit for us.

Speaking of the Draft, Vikings Update has some wise words from Mike Mayock about the strong crop available in 2010, and how we have a lot of potential stars available to us this year, even down at 30th overall. In line with the general consensus, sealing up the defence is listed as out main priority but he points out that “you can get a quality player deep in the third, fourth, fifth round,” which means in theory that if we spot a gem early on in a position that isn’t as much of a priority as the defence, we could take them safe in the knowledge that there will still be quality out there in later rounds to strengthen the D.

In today’s FAVRE WATCH look no further than my own post in defence of the old man, following Buzz Bissinger’s atrocious article last week. Other than that, it’s very quiet on the Silver front.

Have a good one. Back again tomorrow.