Minnesota selected Notre Dame cornerback Robert Blanton, who is one of the most physical cornerbacks in the entire 2012 draft.
At 6'1", 215-pounds, Blanton has great size, but he ran one of the slowest times for a cornerback in history. He ran a 4.7 at the combine, but the Vikings don't feel that will be a problem in the future, obviously.
In his senior year with the Fighting Irish, Blanton totaled 70 tackles, a sack, six pass deflections and two interceptions. Great numbers for somebody that is considered too slow to keep up with receivers.
Blanton is the absolute perfect fit for the Minnesota Vikings' cover-2 defensive scheme. He doesn't have to play man-on-man with wide receivers, which he would struggle terribly with anyway.
There is also plenty of speculation by Mel Kiper Jr. and others that Blanton will have to move to safety. I'm in agreement, as his size and speed is slated more for a safety.
Nevertheless, Minnesota is expected to start Blanton off at cornerback in his rookie season. The team feels confident that he will be able to grasp the ropes of their defense right away.
Blanton is not only extremely tall and athletic, but he has 31-inch arms, which allows him the better chance to get the ball between him and the opposing receiver. Long arms are also tremendously crucial when it comes to tackling and covering.
Blanton is also a high-motor player that doesn't give up on a play. He was considered one of the most aggressive and competitive defensive players on the entire Notre Dame roster.
We can only hope that type of attitude transfers over to the pro game.
Harrison Smith, who was the Vikings' 29th pick in the first round, will also be happy about this move. The two started together for the Fighting Irish.
Minnesota has now paired up two sets of two players that played on the same college team. Those being Jarius Wright and Greg Childs with Arkansas, and Harrison Smith and Robert Blanton with Notre Dame.
All in all, this is a fantastic pick for the Vikings. Surprisingly, I can finally say that the Vikings have some seriously great depth in the secondary.
Minnesota's next pick will come fifth overall in the sixth round. Stay tuned for updates!
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