The post-draft sex glow is all about us as we move into the doldrums of the NFL off-season, but there's still much to talk about with the Vikings 2013 NFL Draft picks. In Purple Jesus Diaries' NFL Draft-or-Bust Off, we review each pick in turn and provide some further amateur insight for you. Previously we looked at Sharrif Floyd, Xavier Rhodes, and Cordarrelle Patterson, and today, we continue with the Vikings fourth round pick, LB Gerald Hodges from Penn State …
I'll be honest here … By the time we start reviewing the draft picks who appear in the fourth round and beyond, I love a little bit of my Draft-or-Bust Off steam. If we're putting all our dirty laundry out on the table here, people may get all jacked about late round picks and how they're going to influence the team, but come on people, we also drafted John David Booty in the fifth round. That didn't really pan out.
Now, that's not to say this new linebacker Gerald Hodges won't pan out. He's seemingly got the credentials, is a good sized young lad that probably likes to hit people, but I'm just a little subdued on him, largely because I came walking up to the NFL Draft in 2013 with a MLB boner, and left with a half chub from three first round picks. I don't know if Hodges here addresses any needs we have, but if he wanted to go to a team that was devoid of linebackers, well, he found the right spot! He'll get ALL the opportunities, that's for sure.
What do we roll with here? We could call him "The President" after Gerald Ford, which I kind of like. Ford was a cool guy, someone you could really drink a beer with. We could call him "Geraldo" for no good reason. But instead of saying it like Geraldo Rivera, I would pronounce it "Jerr-Aldo" which I think sounds funny. Then you have some of the generic options about linebackers being tough, like "The Bulldozer" or "Fist Puncher" or "Tackle King" which … Wow, as I'm writing those, the last two would be awesome. Point being, I'm open to any ideas you have.
So what is the good news about Geraldo? From his draft profile, we learn he's a converted safety at the linebacker position, which seems to be the typical route for a lot of college linebackers these days. This tells us that he's got the speed to be an outside guy, covering running backs int he flat or possibly staying with tight ends up the seam. That'd be a good thing for our defense! Hurray! Notes also indicate he's pretty active and tough, not afraid to get his nose into a brown spider, if you catch my meaning. He won't shy away from contact, which I think means that he'd accept a gay teammate in the locker room. I may just be making that up though, because I don't know what all of the hyperbolic football statements mean anymore.
The big knock with Hodges seems to be his size, where he appears a bit small as an NFL linebacker. If he's forced to have to tackle huge bros coming out of the backfield like Adrian Peterson, he's probably going to be in trouble. He'd be more like a speed bump than a road block, ya know? The good news here is that Adrian Peterson plays for our team, and every other back in the NFL is a piece of horse poop compared to him, so Hodges should adjust fine. Honestly, I keep seeing these "undersized linebackers" come into the NFL and many have solid rookie seasons, as they were playing faster in college, typically as converted safeties, or against spread offenses. Now, Hodges did play at Penn State against boring ass, slow BIG TEN!!! offenses, so maybe that doesn't translate well. I'd imagine we'll have a better idea of his NFL transition ability midway through his second year, and not a game before!
The So What!
I don't know, whatever. There was once a time when Penn State produced lots of noticeable linebackers, but then the last big one was Paul Posluszny, and ew. Obviously, Hodges is a totally different person and we have to wait to see how he works in the NFL, but taking ANY player that isn't an offensive linemen from the Big Ten bores the hell out of me. Unless their name is Antoine Winfield, of course. We'll see though. Gerald has as much of a chance to be a starter come opening day as any of our other meat bodies at linebacker right now, so maybe he'll get his shot. Pretty exciting and encouraging stuff, right?