Vikings Rookie Has a Promising Future
The Vikings made several great draft picks this year. Even though many experts gave them an average to poor grade compared to other NFL teams. However, at first sight, they found themselves many good players.
Some of these guys are the obvious ones, like Lewis Cine and Andrew Booth Jr. Although, there are a few others that could see significant playing time this year, like Ed Ingram and Brian Asamoah. Asamoah is my pick to be one of the steals of the draft.
When watching Asamoah play football, one thing is clear. He is fast. Honestly, the only reason he fell to the Vikings in the third round is that he is a bit lighter than ideal. However, none of that should matter when the Vikings take the field in September.
He is the most promising young linebacker on our team. The way he plays the game is lightyears ahead of guys like Chazz Surratt. In fact, if Eric Kendricks gets released next year due it might be because of his cap hit, but Asamoah’s prowess will definitely play a part in it.
Asamoah Film Breakdown
Ok, maybe declaring Asamoah the next Eric Kendricks is a bit premature. The guy hasn’t even played a game from scrimmage in the NFL yet. However, that should not stop you from getting hyped up about him.
Here are the highlights:
- He is quick to diagnose the play. There are several occasions where you can see Asamoah be the first Sooners defender to react to where the play is going. He is so quick at diagnosing that he often blows up an end-around or option play.
- He is lightning fast. Speaking of blowing up option plays, this dude flies after them. There is one play where not only does force the pitch, but he then runs down the running back. This isn’t a fluke either. He is consistent in going sideline to sideline chasing down those stretch plays.
- He is great at finding his way through traffic. This should not be a surprise considering the first two points. He can track the ball really well and then uses his speed and quickness to maneuver his way around linemen.
- His hips are fluid. This is a trait that you often look for in cornerbacks. It is vital when in pass coverage because you need to be able to turn your hips without losing speed or balance to keep up with the receiver. Well, Asamoah checks that box, too, so seeing him covering guys in the middle of the field will become common.
Ok, that’s enough about how great he is. He fell to the third round for a reason and we should discuss those points as well.
- He is too small. One of the biggest knocks on him is that he is small. Weighing only 226 in the NFL as a middle linebacker will be a challenge.
- He gets eaten up by linemen. Because of his size, if a lineman gets his hands on him Asamoah is done for. At the NFL level, he will be competing against linemen that are much more athletic than at the college level. He will have to learn to stack and shed before he will be effective and shutting down the run game.
- Asamoah relies on his speed too much. This can be seen by some of the angles he takes. Everyone is so much faster in the NFL. He will need to improve his technique.
How He Fits the Vikings’ Long-Term Plans
Besides his weight and playing strength, Asamoah is a modern-day linebacker. He is a true sideline to sideline player. Man is this dude fast. He sees what the play is and is in instant attack mode. Because of these traits, you should be far less concerned about his weight.
The best part is he is likely the heir apparent to Eric Kendricks. It is perfect, really, because he and Kendricks are very similar in stature. Kendricks stands at 6’0″ and 232 pounds and Asamoah comes in at 6’0″ and 226 pounds.
They are basically identical. If Asamoah can develop in the same fashion as Kendricks, we could have another all-pro level linebacker for the next 10 years. You know what, I am going to declare it.
Asamoah will be an all-pro within his first four years in the NFL. Feel free to save this and roast my terrible takes if this doesn’t pan out.
Mitch Massman is a life-long Vikings fan. His first heartbreak was the 1998 NFC championship game. His full-time job is as an economic development professional in rural Minnesota. He fantasizes about the Vikings winning a Super Bowl one day, but until then he will write about the Vikings. Follow him on Twitter @skol_vikings3