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Vikings make interesting pick with Gerhart

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Recent posts by Eric Edholm

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Posted April 23, 2010 @ 11:08 p.m. ET
By Eric Edholm

The Vikings drafted a running back with their second pick, and you can put a positive or a negative spin on them taking Stanford's Toby Gerhart.

The positive: They are protecting their best long-term investment in Adrian Peterson. Chester Taylor left town, leaving the team with Albert Young (12 NFL carries). Gerhart is a tough, physical runner who can leave less of the dirty work for A.D.

The negative: Peterson fumbles, he fumbles too often and they seem to come at the worst possible times. (Although fumbles seldom are, in my experience, timely.) But with all the physical wear Peterson takes, you can see why the Vikings are concerned and might want to think about finding someone else who — gasp — might take the ball in crunch time.

The Vikings still like Peterson. He’s still drawing eight men in the box, even with Brett Favre under center, amazing as it is. But they also know they’ll have to make a call on him one day, and signing him to a long-term deal past his current contract might be difficult with all the money the team has spent in recent offseasons and with all the uncertainty of the team, the city and the stadium.

But the Vikings might like both guys in tandem. Most teams have two backs who could be the bellcow any given week, and Gerhart is a nice player to add to a Super Bowl-caliber roster. But his skills (39 receptions in four seasons at Stanford) don’t match those of Taylor (265 catches in eight NFL seasons), so it makes you think a little.

The pick is, if nothing else, very interesting.

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