2012 Who Ya Gonna Draft? – Chris Polk

PJD is on vacation, STILL. During this time, we’ve decided we’ll take a quick look at potential Minnesota Vikings draft picks for the second or later rounds. With so many needs and so many draft picks to get this team back to a place where we can at least pretend they are respectable, we’ll have plenty of ground to cover. Let us know what you think of each prospect in the comments, and whether or not they’d be a good fit or impact player, and of course if you can think of a funny nickname for them.

Today, we look at Washington running back Chris Polk, which sounds like the name of an offensive guard. Doesn’t it?

From ESPN’s draft analysis, which is about as insightful as a kindergartner’s crayon pictures:

Overall Football Traits

Production 1 “2008: (2/0)  20331.70 2009: (12/12)  2261,1134.95 2010: (13/13)  2601,4155.49 2011: (13/13)  293-1,488-5.1-12 Career (2008-’10) – 79 catches683-8.6-4. 14 KORs-241-17.2-0. “
Height-Weight-Speed 3 “Above average height and weight. Might be in best interest to shed a few pounds in order to improve foot quickness and top-end speed, which on tape appears to be below average. “
Durability 4 “Suffered a season ending left shoulder injury during the third game of 2008, which eventually required season-ending surgery. In 2010, underwent second shoulder surgery and sat out spring practice. Also has had his knee scoped. “
Intangibles 1 A passionate player and diligent worker. Loves the game. Graduated early.

1 = Exceptional2 = Above average3 = Average4 = Below average5 = Marginal

Running Back Specific Traits

Competitiveness 2 Runs with good determination. Keep legs churning upon contact and consistently finishes run falling forward to pick up hidden yardage. Picks up feet well through traffic and flashes and effective spin move. Can handle a heavy load and has good awareness to stay in bounds when closing out a game. Ball carriage needs improvement especially through traffic.
Vision/Patience 2 Good vision and senses crease before it opens. Consistently makes effective cuts. Is patient and knows how to set up his blocks. Occasionally will hesitate in the backfield but is generally a decisive runner. Displays a natural feel for cut back lanes. Solid second level runner.
Agility/Acceleration 4 Shows adequate burst to the hole but does not explode through the hole. Foot quickness is below average. Takes too long when stopping and starting. Flashes an effective jump cut but lateral agility is just adequate and he will struggle to make NFL defenders miss. Does not show a second gear when he breaks free on the second level.
Power/Balance 2 “Runs with good strength and balance. Tends to get a bit high when trying to make a cut or shift directions to-or-through the hole. But otherwise he runs with adequate pad level and a wide base. Runs hard, though and will lower shoulder to deliver blow to finish run. Also can bounce off of initial contact and pick up tough yards in between tackle. Not an elite short-yardage runner but can push the pile on occasion. “
Passing Game 2 “An effective third down back for his size. Does a nice job of getting quickly into routes. Soft hands. Can pluck on run. Also can be flexed out and looks natural as a route runner, even though he will struggle to separate from tight man coverage in the NFL. Takes pride in pass pro. Shows good strength and technique. Also has above-average awareness with blitz pick-up. “

1 = Exceptional2 = Above average3 = Average4 = Below average5 = Marginal

Chris Polk had been a bright spot on the Washington team for a while now. Him and Jake Locker combined to make a pretty decent duo, but since Washington also didn’t have much in the way of receivers, they were left with Chris Polk doing all the dirty work. With that said, he’s ended up with some tread on his proverbial tires, but he also has tons of solid experience coming into the NFL. In fact, he’d be the ideal type of back-up to both Purple Jesus and Toby Fathead because of this. He can stay fresh with less reps, learn the game behind (one of) the game’s best (I’m not talking Toby, FYI …) and you don’t have to worry about him screwing anything up when he comes into the game. He’s also really good out of the backfield, and is generally pretty well rounded as a talent. A Jack-of-All-Trades, if you will, and could maybe develop into a nice kind of Mewelde Moore type of player. AND! If we have to let Toby walk in two years, I’d be VERY pleased with Polk stepping up as the top back-up behind Purple Jesus at that time, maybe even prepping to take over the lead role in a handful of years after Purple Jesus’ inevitable, super depressing, decline. As he’s rated as the 94th player overall by ESPN, the Vikings could easily find a way to sneak in and draft him if needed. I doubt he’ll go that late (I personally think he’d go mid- to late-second round), but for the Vikings, this would again be somewhere in the 3rd round, and with the Vikings likely getting a couple of compensatory picks for losing Sidney Rice and Ray Edwards, we’d have the needed ammunition to move up, if it’s decided that a solid back-up would help the team.

With that said, I would still put running back so low on the list of team-needs that I’m pretty sure it’d be below “stadium,” “Voice of the Vikings,” and “General Manager,” probably in that order. But, hey, just in case.

What say you?


About PJD

I once saw Paul Edinger kick a 56-yard field goal for the Minnesota Vikings against the Green Bay Packers to win a game in the Metrodome. It was exhilarating.