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 Vikings Grades: Running Backs and Tight Ends 
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Post Vikings Grades: Running Backs and Tight Ends
Part 2 in the Star Tribune's series grading the 2017 Vikes:

Vikings grades, outlook: Kyle Rudolph the lone standout among tight ends, backs

Quote:
Kyle Rudolph’s career year for the Vikings was a bright spot, but not enough to boost a toothless red zone offense that ranked 31st in points per red zone drive, according to Football Outsiders. Moving forward, the Vikings could introduce talent at each position given the lack of production outside Rudolph and the potential turnover with Adrian Peterson’s contract looming.


The scale:

5 = excellent season
4 = above average
3 = average
2 = below average
1 = failure to perform

The grades:

Kyle Rudolph (4.0)
Rhett Ellison (2.5)
David Morgan (2.5)
Kyle Carter (N/A):

Jerick McKinnon (2.5)
Zach Line (2.5)
Adrian Peterson (2.0)
Matt Asiata (2.0)
C.J. Ham (N/A)
Bishop Sankey (N/A)

It's interesting, if I recall correctly,in part 1 of this series they didn't give Matt Kalil a grade yet Peterson gets one here. He didn't play much more than Kalil did this season.

Rudolph had a strong year as a receiver. He needs to get better as a blocker but i agree with his grade.

I see the potential for a lot of change at these positions. We've discussed the potential that they could move on from Peterson elsewhere. The article points out that Ellison wasn't the same blocker he;s been in the past. He, Asiata and Line are free agents. All 4 of the aforementioned players could conceivably be replaced next season.


Thu Jan 12, 2017 10:02 am
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Post Re: Vikngs Grades: Running Backs and Tight Ends
Never been a Line fan......we could move on from him and I wouldn't even notice he is gone.


Thu Jan 12, 2017 10:33 am
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Post Re: Vikings Grades: Running Backs and Tight Ends
I would agree with those grades.

What I would do if I were Zim/Spielman:

-Release AP
-Draft a RB (Plenty of LEGIT options: Fournette, Cook, Foreman, Perine, Gallman, etc.)
-Let Line walk
-Keep Asiata and put him at FB (a position he use to play)
-Keep Ellison but sign a low end TE to come in and compete. Morgan can block and catch but isnt overly athletic. Ellison is very similar. I still feel he holds some value but maybe bring in an athletic TE. If Rudy went down, we'd be in trouble at that position. I wish they never let Pruitt walk. I liked him

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Thu Jan 12, 2017 11:37 am
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Post Re: Vikings Grades: Running Backs and Tight Ends
Pondering Her Percy wrote:
I would agree with those grades.

What I would do if I were Zim/Spielman:

-Release AP
-Draft a RB (Plenty of LEGIT options: Fournette, Cook, Foreman, Perine, Gallman, etc.)
-Let Line walk
-Keep Asiata and put him at FB (a position he use to play)


Is Asiata a good blocker? I think Line was valued mostly because of his run blocking for AD.

On that note, will the Vikings even be using a FB much anymore? If not, Asiata could remain a RB but shift over to FB on the few plays where the Vikings might need him there.


Thu Jan 12, 2017 12:14 pm
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Post Re: Vikings Grades: Running Backs and Tight Ends
How does Peterson get a 2.0 on the year?

Quote:
Played 84 snaps [8%]. Averaged 1.9 yards on 37 attempts.


What do you have to do to get a one? I guess two is if you got onto the field at all and had a pulse?

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Thu Jan 12, 2017 2:03 pm
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Post Re: Vikings Grades: Running Backs and Tight Ends
Cliff wrote:
How does Peterson get a 2.0 on the year?

Quote:
Played 84 snaps [8%]. Averaged 1.9 yards on 37 attempts.


What do you have to do to get a one? I guess two is if you got onto the field at all and had a pulse?



I suspect there was some consideration for what he was up against. He barely had a chance in week 1 and things weren't much better in the first half of the week 2 game. The other backs had to play behind the same sorry OL but they didn't have the defense selling out to stop them. "Below average" seems like a fair grade to me.


Thu Jan 12, 2017 2:34 pm
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Post Re: Vikings Grades: Running Backs and Tight Ends
Mothman wrote:
I suspect there was some consideration for what he was up against. He barely had a chance in week 1 and things weren't much better in the first half of the week 2 game. The other backs had to play behind the same sorry OL but they didn't have the defense selling out to stop them. "Below average" seems like a fair grade to me.


I suppose ... I just thought it was in terms of actual production for the year. How could he be anything else but a 1 under that light? He's probably almost worth an N/A for the amount of time he played.

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Thu Jan 12, 2017 2:40 pm
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Post Re: Vikings Grades: Running Backs and Tight Ends
Cliff wrote:
I suppose ... I just thought it was in terms of actual production for the year. How could he be anything else but a 1 under that light? He's probably almost worth an N/A for the amount of time he played.


I expected him to get an N/A for that reason.


Thu Jan 12, 2017 2:50 pm
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Post Re: Vikings Grades: Running Backs and Tight Ends
AP represents a very interesting scenario for the front office. He has a track record of Elite Play for most of his career. Heck, his best season was right after a major injury. There are of course the negatives, he doesn't seem to do as well as a receiver, his pass protection is suspect, and he has a tendency to put the ball on the ground. This has always been tolerated since he has been essentially a one man wrecking crew capable of carrying an offense on his shoulders and always making the team a redzone threat with his ability to punch it in.

There are things in the above that the current team lacks and maybe even desparately needs. (Red Zone anyone?) I wonder if the power of his positives are enough to offset his negatives at this stage in his career? I also wonder if his idea of paycut will be enough to allow the team to playhard in Free Agency? Finally, I wonder how well he'll fit into this quick release offense vs say a Ray Rice type back who is so good in the passing game.

It is a conundrum. What are they willing to pay him? How much risk is there?

Sorry, I just felt like voicing my thoughts on the matter. Maybe the FO has some info we lack that will make the choice clearer. For me right now it seems like both sides are risky.

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Thu Jan 12, 2017 4:56 pm
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Post Re: Vikings Grades: Running Backs and Tight Ends
AD is a liability overall and always has been. He's a great runner. If I were a super bowl team, I'd sign him. Like the patriots signed Blount. But is he willing to suck it up? Is he capable of blocking and doing his job? Who knows. Well...maybe Vikings fans *should* know. Right now, this team? Let him go. Trade him years ago. We're talking about this again? :wallbang:

I'd take an average overall HB over him. Even though he's likely, even at this point, better as a pure runner than what you'd be able to find. We have Shurmur as our OC, Peterson has no business in this offense.

Tight end? Rudolph is an above average receiving tight end. And average, at best overall. :confused:
The other guys? Cut them and sign whoever....lateral move.

Unless it's the pro bowl. Then oh boy extend him! :spanking:


Thu Jan 12, 2017 10:32 pm
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Post Re: Vikings Grades: Running Backs and Tight Ends
Demi wrote:
Tight end? Rudolph is an above average receiving tight end. And average, at best overall. :confused:


Overall, Rudy is above average. If you're referring to his blocking, its not THAT bad to make him "average overall at best". Teams have "blocking" TE's for a reason. Rudy isn't considered that. Nor is Jordan Reed, Olsen, Gronk, Graham, etc. They are receiving TE's. How many of those guys I just named off are legit blockers?? Maybe Gronk? Olsen possibly?

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Fri Jan 13, 2017 12:07 am
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Post Re: Vikings Grades: Running Backs and Tight Ends
losperros wrote:
Pondering Her Percy wrote:
I would agree with those grades.

What I would do if I were Zim/Spielman:

-Release AP
-Draft a RB (Plenty of LEGIT options: Fournette, Cook, Foreman, Perine, Gallman, etc.)
-Let Line walk
-Keep Asiata and put him at FB (a position he use to play)


Is Asiata a good blocker? I think Line was valued mostly because of his run blocking for AD.

On that note, will the Vikings even be using a FB much anymore? If not, Asiata could remain a RB but shift over to FB on the few plays where the Vikings might need him there.


I believe Asiata started over Line when Felton left and then we moved Asiata to RB. Having a FB was more of a Norv thing. For short yardage, I wouldnt mind seeing Asiata at FB and a rookie RB like Perine back there. That would be tough to stop. Although Asiata is notorious for putting his head down and running into the back of his lineman. There is really no use for Line in this offense anymore. Especially if AP goes. Anytime we do need one, I'm sure Asiata would be decent enough. He's gotta be a better FB than he is RB thats for sure

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Fri Jan 13, 2017 12:10 am
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Post Re: Vikings Grades: Running Backs and Tight Ends
losperros wrote:
Pondering Her Percy wrote:
I would agree with those grades.

What I would do if I were Zim/Spielman:

-Release AP
-Draft a RB (Plenty of LEGIT options: Fournette, Cook, Foreman, Perine, Gallman, etc.)
-Let Line walk
-Keep Asiata and put him at FB (a position he use to play)


Is Asiata a good blocker? I think Line was valued mostly because of his run blocking for AD.

On that note, will the Vikings even be using a FB much anymore? If not, Asiata could remain a RB but shift over to FB on the few plays where the Vikings might need him there.

Asiata would. Make an awesome FB. He is much better at blitz pickup than AD and i don't see him miss many blocls at all.

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Fri Jan 13, 2017 5:00 am
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Post Re: Vikings Grades: Running Backs and Tight Ends
PurpleMustReign wrote:
Asiata would. Make an awesome FB. He is much better at blitz pickup than AD and i don't see him miss many blocls at all.

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Thats what I'm saying too. Why not just keep Asiata as a RB/emergency FB when needed and let Line walk. I mean how often does Shurmur even use a FB? If he does it's on the goal line and there is no reason Asiata couldnt be in there on the goal line along with a new RB behind him

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