After a couple of days delay, we are back with our continuing look at what the scouts had to say about the members of the Minnesota Vikings’ 2017 draft class. As we continue to go down the list, we’ve come to the team’s fourth selection in this year’s draft, Michigan linebacker Ben Gedeon.
Usually, we have two different scouting reports to look at when it comes to these players, one from Lindy’s Football and one from Athlon Sports. Unfortunately, Ben Gedeon did not appear among the linebackers in the Lindy’s guide, so that leaves us with just the scouting report from Athlon. Athlon had Gedeon listed as their #10 inside linebacker prospect, behind a few players that were either drafted after him or not drafted at all. Let’s take a look at what Athlon had to say about him.
Strong Points: Gedeon is an instinctive, physical thumper who outplays his measurables. He does a good job reading and reacting quickly, often beating blockers to the spot. But when he doesn’t, he flashes good take-on skills, with fairly quick hands, tracking the ball carrier and closing fast after disengaging. He shows very good instincts when dropping into zone coverage, and he profiles as a core special teamer as well.
Weak Points: Gedeon doesn’t have sideline-to-sideline range, and he’s not going to be able to match up in man coverage with NFL tight ends. He lacks violence as a tackler, too often having to drag a ball carrier down. He often looks slow-footed when chasing in pursuit. He isn’t going to be a pass-rush threat, and any success he has as a blitzer will be due to the play design.
Summary: Former UM teammate Jake Ryan was starting for the Packers by the end of last season, and Gedeon is a slightly better prospect. If he outplays his measurables, Gedeon might be an early-down contributor and core special teamer.
Final Grade: 5th/6th round
Well, this report is a bit contradictory on its face. Ryan was drafted by Green Bay in the fourth round (#129 overall) in 2016, and the report says that Gedeon is a “slightly better prospect,” yet has him projected a round or two behind where Ryan was selected.
But this doesn’t seem to be far off from what we thought about this selection when it was made on draft weekend. Gedeon is going to come in and compete with Kentrell Brothers. . .who projects as a similar two-down backer. . .for the right to either back up Eric Kendricks at middle linebacker or to get on the field as a starter with Kendricks shifting to the outside. I’d be more willing to lean towards the former, as to this point the Vikings haven’t really shown any inclination to move Kendricks to the outside full-time. Kendricks and Anthony Barr will continue to be the two linebackers in sub-packages, so playing time for any other linebackers on the Vikings’ roster is going to be pretty limited.
So, that’s a brief look at linebacker Ben Gedeon. We’ll continue with our Dead Tree Media Draft Review for the rest of the Vikings’ draft class over the next few days.