Once again we’re back to that post-draft sex sheen we all get when we start talking about young men in shorts who are now OURS. And since it coincides with the beginning of the long NFL offseason, we’ll take our damn time in reviewing each Vikings draft pick from 2014. In Purple Jesus Diaries’ NFL Draft-or-Bust Off 2014, we continue our amateur insight into the draft picks by reviewing one of our sixth round picks, CB Antone Exum …
Antone Exum was one of the 37 picks the Vikings had in the sixth round of the 2014 draft. Apparently, Rick Spielman thinks that getting 37 mediocre players late in the draft adds up to the quality of two great players early in the draft. Not that Exum is mediocre – he may be, he may not be – but more so that, what the hell, Rick? Either way, Exum was the first defensive back picked in a draft that was known to be relatively deep in defensive back players, even if the top number of starters/studs was a bit thin. Meaning? I guess taking a guy late that can upgrade your shitty defense isn’t a stretch, and – as we’ll find out soon – drafting 37 of them means that the chances of even ONE of them panning out is probably pretty good. Will the 6’0″, 213 pound cornerback who will likely turn to safety with the Vikings be the one to pan out? Maybe! We just have to wait and see.
I’m totally on board with naming this guy “Little Antoine” or something similar. When you are named “Antone” (An-tawn, An-tone, An-toon, whatever), and you get drafted by a team that had Antoine Winfield on it forever, the comparisons – however ridiculous and stupid they are because they strictly have to do with name and position – will be made. Otherwise, “Ex-Man” or “Ex-‘Em” or something similar, like x-ing offensive players out, works as well. As a last resort, we can also go with “Terminator X” (which we tried to give to Xavier Rhodes last year), which is more fitting for Exum since he’s a rapper and all. Yeah. That’s going to be a thing here. Thoughts?
SIX TO MIDNIGHT
So why do we like him? Well, he’s not Mistral Raymond, Chris Cook, or any of the other defensive backs on this team the last few years who have made me want to shoot my kneecaps. Beyond just that, Exum has the make up to be a good defensive back player, regardless of where he ends up. He played cornerback in college with Virginia Tech, but has been practicing and is expected by many to see time as a safety for the Vikings. Exum did have a recent knee injury, so the reduced pressure on his lateral movement at cornerback would make sense, and he does bring more wood than a porn star when he’s hitting dudes (he goes both ways?), so safety would be a good spot for him. Also, Antone has shown an increase in production each year of his college career (outside of 2013 when he was injured – more on that later), and in important categories too, like interceptions (which the Vikings desperately need) and passes deflected. Can he bring those increased talents to the Vikings? Let’s hope to god he can.
SHE’S GOT A HEADACHE
Speaking earlier of kneecaps and injuries, Exum did tear his ACL and lateral meniscus in 2013, which prevented him from playing for the Hokies most of his senior year. I guess he’s got injury concerns, and there will be questions about how well he actually plays when the lights are back on after not seeing the field for real game action for so long, but as mentioned above, he saw a pretty steady increase of production during college, so I’ll hedge my bets that Zimmer can get him up to speed. Other than that, it’s just deciding where he best fits in the defense and making sure he learns the material correctly, as there have apparently also been concerns that Exum likes to defense his own way, and move outside the scheme occasionally. You know who else liked to play outside the rules though? BRETT FAVRE. EXUM IS THE FAVRE OF DEFENSES!
I would like to see more arm tackles, instead of just shoulder launches, but what do I know. He’s still picking the ball off and showing he knows how to turn his head around to find the ball, so he’s already better than Chris Cook ever was.
I like the pick, I guess. I mean, if he isn’t a complete moron he’ll already make the team better, even if it’s just on special teas. The real question, again, is where he eventually what position he plays. His video shows some good moves for a cornerback, but his speed (4.59 seconds in the 40 yard dash) leave a little to be desired as a CB. A move to safety could be good for him, particularly if Zimmer plays his safety position as a hybrid linebacker-cornerback sometimes, which would allow him to cover slower tight ends, or roam the field and hit people.
Either way, Exum has tons of rookie defensive back competition, as the other guys we’re going to review soon include two other cornerbacks that were drafted in the sixth round or later by the Vikings. I think I speak for everyone when I say, for the love of god, just one of you guys, please, don’t suck.