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Tag:Toby Gerhart
Posted on: August 24, 2010 3:36 pm
 

5 Most Disappointing Rookies So Far

There are lots of opinions out there as to which rookies will have an immediate impact this year. The popularity of fantasy football puts most of the attention on skill position players, but hardcore fans are just as interested in offensive linemen or safeties (or any other position) giving their favorite teams immediate and significant playing time.

I've featured several higher round picks like C.J. Spiller , Bryan Bulaga and Brandon Spikes already as players I fully expected to stand out as rookies and, at least in the preseason, have done so. 

I've also listed 10 players drafted in the 3rd round or later who have impressed as rookies.

The following five players make up the exact opposite story. They are five well-hyped prospects who have thus struggled to acclimate to the NFL.

QB Colt McCoy, Cleveland: McCoy was recently among a list of eight players characterized by Tony Grossi of the Cleveland Plain-Dealer as "need[ing] good showings in the last two games to make the roster." McCoy, in two games, has only completed 5 of 12 passes for 25 yards. He's thrown two interceptions and taken two sacks.

RB Toby Gerhart, Minnesota: The Vikings were hopeful that Gerhart would win the 3rd down role behind Adrian Peterson. Gerhart's inconsistent hands and route-running is a concern. So too is the lack of foot quickness he's shown so far. Gerhart can help this team as a short-yardage specialist, but that may be it.

WR Armanti Edwards, Carolina: Edwards has flashed for the Panthers, but he's shown just how tough it is to switch from college quarterback to NFL wide receiver. He's had issues at receiver and punt returner and may require a "redshirt" year.

WR Golden Tate, Seattle: The 2009 Biletnikof winner, Tate has been a star in training camp, but in the games -- where he's needed to run crisper routes -- he's struggled to demonstrate the same playmaking ability. Tate will be fine. He's too talented not to, but he has only three catches for 13 yards in two games so far.

RB Joe McKnight, New York Jets: I remember when McKnight signed with USC out of the state of Louisiana as one of the most hyped prep prospects in the country. He never showed the agility and balance of Reggie Bush -- the guy he was signed to replace -- at USC though, at times, he received similar hype. McKnight is a terrific athlete, but I haven't seen the toughness out of him so far to think the Jets can keep him on the field much this year.

Posted on: April 23, 2010 7:44 pm
 

Gerhart could take over the goal-line for AP

Toby Gerhart is an interesting selection for the Minnesota Vikings. With Adrian Peterson, obviously he won't be asked to take on the lead role. He could, however, take on a very prominent role as the Vikings' short yardage and goal line runner.

Peterson's struggles with fumbles have been well documented. The Vikings would be wise to limit the hits he'll take in the extremely physical short-yardage situations, as well.

These situations, however, is exactly where Gerhart can shine. Not only does he offer bullish power at 6-1, 235 pounds, but underrated lateral quickness and vision to avoid the quick penetration that can ruin short yardage opportunities.

Fantasy football enthusiasts might not be a big fan of the carries Gerhart could steal from Peterson, but the Vikings certainly could.
Posted on: April 21, 2010 3:36 pm
Edited on: April 21, 2010 8:11 pm
 

Scout: If Gerhart was black 1st round "for sure"

Stanford running back Toby Gerhart would be a first round pick if he were black, according to a longtime NFL scout anonymously quoted in an article published today by Yahoo.com's Michael Silver.

“He’ll be a great second-round pickup for somebody, but I guarantee you if he was the exact same guy – but he was black – he’d go in the first round for sure,” the scout said. “You could make a case that he’s a Steven Jackson-type – doesn’t have blazing speed but he’s strong and powerful and versatile."
Gerhart led the nation with 1,871 yards and 27 touchdowns last year, finishing second in the Heisman Trophy race to Alabama's Mark Ingram -- who ran for 213 yards and 10 touchdowns less despite playing in 14 games last year. Gerhart played in 13 games.

Stereotyping Gerhart as just another white hope at running back is obviously unfair. Considering his underrated top-end speed, lateral agility and quick feet, it also isn't accurate. I've steadily made comparisons to former Cincinnati Bengals standout back Rudi Johnson with Gerhart.

Despite comparing him to a former Pro Bowl back, I agree with the first part of the scout's statement in that Gerhart is likely to be taken in the second round.

I believe, as I told Jon Wilner in this article for the San Jose Mercury News, that first round picks are generally reserved for running backs with explosive speed. I believe the color of Gerhart's skin won't have anything to do with where he is ultimately selected.

In a draft as talented as this one at hard-to-find positions such as offensive tackle and the defensive line, I expect it to be even more difficult for a third running back to sneak into the first round. 
 




Posted on: March 18, 2010 5:12 pm
 

West coast big backs Gerhart, Blount Pro Days

Heisman finalist Toby Gerhart elected to stand on his Combine performance, choosing only to catch passes Thursday at his Pro Day, according to sources there.

The decision not to work out was a bit surprising considering the faster times that often occur during Pro Day running and that most of the other top backs, including CJ Spiller, Ryan Mathews and Ben Tate have elected to workout again despite strong performances in Indianapolis.

Gerhart was clocked at 4.56 seconds in the 40-yard dash at the Combine.

One big back from the west who did take advantage of the scouts on hand to improve his time in the 40-yard dash Thursday was Oregon's LaGarrette Blount.

Blount struggled in Indianapolis, clocking in at a slooow 4.86 seconds in the 40-yard dash -- the slowest of all running backs (and fullbacks) tested at the Combine.

Blount shaved two-tenths of a second off his 40 at Oregon today, however, clocking in between 4.62 and 4.66, according to two separate sources at the scene.

Blount, of course, has more to worry about than just his questionable straight-line speed. According to teams, however, Blount answered all questions, including those about the Boise State incident and his subsequent suspension, openly. 
Posted on: December 6, 2009 3:17 am
Edited on: December 11, 2009 11:15 am
 

Suh the conscionable Heisman choice

As my previous post reported, I spent much of my Saturday at the Washington-Cal game. While writing the post, however, I've been scouting the Big 12 Championship game between Texas and Nebraska.

I've long held the belief that Colt McCoy would win the Heisman this year. I've maintained for even longer, however, that Nebraska defensive tackle Ndamukong Suh should win it.

After scouting this game, however, I simply cannot understand how any Heisman voter with a conscience could possibly give their vote to McCoy over Suh. Sure, McCoy's team won. But he struggled for most of this contest, throwing three interceptions and zero touchdowns. Suh, on the other hand, racked up 12 tackles, 7 tackles for loss and 4.5 sacks. No defense had sacked McCoy four times in one game this year and Suh accomplished that feat, himself...

For the season, despite being double or triple teamed on nearly every snap, Suh led the Blackshirts with 82 tackles, 23 tackles for loss and 12 sacks. He broke up 10 passes and blocked 3 kicks.

The fact that Reggie Bush is the only non-QB to have won the Heisman this decade is simply proof that many of today's Heisman voters are focusing more on the BCS standings and gaudy touchdown pass totals to judge which player deserves the award.

On the behalf of college football fans across the world, Heisman voters, I challenge you with proving that the greatest individual honor in sports hasn't become a joke.

For a change, lets award the best player in the country the honor supposed to be bestowed upon the best player in the country... even if he plays defense and isn't in a BCS bowl game.  

Award the Heisman Trophy to Ndamukong Suh.

(And if acknowleding the dominance of a defensive player is just too much to ask, for goodness sakes, take a look at what running backs CJ Spiller, Mark Ingram and Toby Gerhart have done this year)


Posted on: November 16, 2009 12:46 pm
 

Even at #14, Stanford remains underrated

Many outside of the Pac-10 might have been surprised by Stanford's back to back wins over Oregon and USC. Those who have been paying attention to Jim Harbaugh's ascending program, however, weren't surprised at all.

Jim Harbaugh has characterized his redshirt freshman quarterback, Andrew Luck, as "the best quarterback in the country" and Luck's performance against the Ducks and Trojans (5 combined TDs, zero turnovers) serve as some evidence that Harbaugh's claim isn't as far off as one might think. The 6-4, 235 pound Luck, in fact, looks every bit the part of a future first round choice.

Unlike many of the past Pac-10 offenses, however, this offense isn't built around the passing game. This is an offense built around a punishing downhill rushing attack forged by Toby Gerhart and a stout offensive line. It is an offense that has scored a combined 106 points against the Ducks and Trojans, not because of gimmick or trickery, but fundmantally sound play up front and a brand of physicality most wouldn't associate with Stanford.

The defense, though rarely given much credit for Stanford's success, has been the very definition of a bend, but don't break unit. The senior-laden unit is stout at the point of attack, protecting a lack of elite athleticism throughout much of the back seven.

At 7-3, the Cardinals remain a game behind Oregon in the Pac-10 standings. They face explosive offenses in their final two games (California, Notre Dame), but with tough games also on the docket for Oregon, Oregon State and Arizona (the other teams contending for the Pac-10 crown), Stanford remains in the Rose Bowl hunt... and I believe this team, on a neutral field, would beat Ohio State.



Posted on: November 14, 2009 7:37 pm
 

With 2nd loss, Keenun for Heisman is over

With Houston quarterback Case Keenum's ridiculous production (4,192 yards and a 31-6 TD/INT ratio), I can understand how some have latched on to the talented Houston passer as a potential Heisman contender -- especially considering the perception that this year's Heisman is a wide open race.

In reality, however, the staggering numbers put forth by Graham Harrell, Colt Brennan, and other spread quarterbacks has proven that while production is enough to spark conversation, it isn't enough to actually take home the hardware.

Keenum's production has been especially overstated this season. The loss to Central Florida today -- Houston's second loss to a Conference USA opponent -- may be enough to knock Houston out of the Conference USA championship and further underscores how at least some of Keenum's production is based on the Cougar's spread offense and the lack of pass defenses they've faced this season.

In ten games this season, Keenum and the Cougars have faced one team currently ranked in the top 50 in the NCAA in pass defense -- Mississippi State, which ranks 40th.

I've steadily maintained that the best player in the country -- Nebraska DT Ndamokung Suh -- should be the prohibitive favorite for the Heisman Trophy. However, considering that only once in the celebrated history of the award has a defender actually won the award (Charles Woodson), I'm realistic enough to know that Suh isn't even likely to be invited as a finalist.

Clemson's CJ Spiller, however, should be generating more buzz than he has, as should Stanford's Toby Gerhart.

With Reggie Bush (2005) the only non-quarterback Heisman winner of the decade , however, it is clear that voters only care about the flashy quarterbacks.

Therefore, this remains Colt McCoy's Heisman to lose.


 
 
 
 
The views expressed in this blog are solely those of the author and do not reflect the views of CBS Sports or CBSSports.com