The Vikings have been checking off needs through the early part of the draft, and continued to do so in the fourth round with the selection of Michigan linebacker Ben Gedeon.
While many hoping for a linebacker somewhere in the middle rounds, the Gedeon pick is a bit of a head-scratcher; there were a number of linebackers still available that rated higher than Gedeon on most draft boards. Ben Gedeon was the 238th-ranked prospect on the Vikings Territory big board. After considerable jubilation about the Vikings’ first three draft picks, the tone shifted in discussing the Michigan linebacker.
Here’s what folks around the web are saying about the Vikings’ (second) fourth round pick:
“It’s no surprise the Vikings are selecting a linebacker, as they needed a replacement for Chad Greenway. Ben Gedeon is not indestructible as one might think, but he was productive at Michigan, albeit in 14 starts. He’s an average athlete, so he projects as a potential solid backup or low-end starter.”
“A one-year starter and natural leader. Never wants to come off the field and will likely add depth at LB while contributing immediately on special teams. Helps to replace the loss of Chad Greenway.”
“Quick reaction tells me Rick Spielman reached a bit for one of “his” guys for this selection. It’s an eyebrow-raiser that seems to show Spielman has something up his sleeve with the pick.
But for now, we can only speculate on what we have seen from Gedeon. And that is a middle linebacker will good instincts and nose for the ball who will be a bit overmatched by NFL athletes to be a starter.
Pro Football Focus
“Ben Gedeon is an instinctive run defender, but is unlikely to offer significant support on pass plays due to playing-speed deficiencies. He gave up just 1.98 yards per tackle, the seventh-best mark in the class.”
“The Vikings needed linebackers who could stop the run and play on special teams, and Ben Gedeon figures to do both. He might turn out to be a two-down player in the NFL, but the role left open by Chad Greenway’s retirement was for a run-first player, anyway. With Anthony Barr and Eric Kendricks playing in the nickel, Gedeon will join the mix of players competing for time at Greenway’s old spot.”
Strictly 43 Base run support.. couldnt cover in college not going to be any better in NFL..Fresh Legs for ST&Competition role..is what it is https://t.co/7E9at3BFtd
— Luke Inman (@Luke_Spinman) April 29, 2017