My roster evaluation series focusing on reserve players that earned some significant playing time for the Vikings in 2013 continues with the spotlight pointed on defensive back Robert Blanton.
Blanton has the size at 6’1 200 pounds that you look for in versatile defensive back. Mike Zimmer likes length and Blanton certainly has that with 31 1/4 inch arms that he uses extremely well especially when playing the run.
Blanton was one of the top high school cornerbacks in the country and went on to play in 50 of 51 games for the Notre Dame Fighting Irish. He finished his NCAA career with eight interceptions, 19.5 tackles for loss, 2.5 sacks and nearly 200 total tackles.
Blanton has above average agility but lacks blazing straight line speed. Upon drafting the cornerback in the 5th round of the 2012 draft, the Vikings converted him to safety. But, with the injury bug hitting the cornerback position in 2013, the Vikings were forced to use Blanton as a nickel corner for 275 snaps compared to only 128 snaps at safety.