Why Jeff Gladney Is the Perfect Pick for the Minnesota Vikings  

Why Jeff Gladney Is the Perfect Pick for the Minnesota Vikings  

We can all breathe a sigh of relief: the NFL Draft is upon us this week. For the Vikings and 31 other teams, in addition to filling fans with hope, it’s a time to fill their remaining team needs. It’s no secret coming in to this week’s draft that cornerback is a top need for the Minnesota Vikings. They saw long time veterans Trae Waynes and Xavier Rhodes leave, as well as the up and coming cornerback, Mackensie Alexander depart for a new team. Which leaves Mike Hughes, Holton Hill, and Kris Boyd as the only cornerback depth, which is now a major concern heading into the 2020 Season. Luckily for them, this is a draft class full of promising young corners, some of whom can make significant contributions right away. Enter Jeff Gladney, a four year starter from TCU who possesses all the intangibles that could make him a surefire contributor. In this article, we will go through some of the Pro’s and Con’s of prospect Jeff Gladney and why he’d be a good fit for the Vikings.

Pro’s to Gladney’s Game

When watching Jeff Gladney, a number of positive traits jump out. One of Gladney’s first noticeable attributes is his athleticism, and just the overall physicality that he brings to the table. He plays with a ferocious mentality and when he steps onto the field he gives off a vibe that he thinks he can matchup with the best, and wants to compete against some of the best WR that are out there.

In addition to Gladney’s athleticism and physicality, he displays very smooth and fluid hips while showcasing his speed and ability to so close in on wide receivers to make a play on the ball.

Some people describe him as a sticky type of corner, due largely to the fact that he is constantly in the WR’s pockets. He consistently makes plays on the ball, making sure that each WR he goes up against knows that it’s going to be a battle for each and every catch.

Lastly, an underrated part of Gladney’s game is his overall awareness and ball hawking ability. When the ball is in the air, he has an innate ability to react and make a play on the ball. He also does a great job when he’s playing outside corner, of understanding where he’s at on the field and does a good job at forcing WR’s to the outside boundary.

Con’s to Gladney’s Game

As with any player, there are some negatives when looking into Jeff Gladney, the most obvious being his size. His official combine size was 5 foot 10 and 191 lbs which depending on who you talk to, could be undesirable. While many people aren’t concerned about the size of a DB as long as they “play big”, there are others who believe that being undersized allows them to be bodied against some bigger WR. While there have been some examples of both in Gladney’s college career, for the most part he’s able to “play big”

A more subtle critique of Gladney’s game is his tendency for playing “handsy.”. Gladney is a physical corner, and physical corners are more susceptible to being grabby. Plays like the one below, may be prone to penalties like pass interference.

Why Gladney is a Fit?

There are many obvious reasons why Gladney is a great fit for the Vikings moving forward. First and foremost, we desperately need cornerbacks. But if that isn’t a sufficient reason for you; which it shouldn’t be, Gladney is exact type of corner that Zimmer looks for. He’s a tough, physical corner who is versatile enough to play both in the slot and outside. In addition to his versatility, Gladney’s footwork and speed is unmatched in this class. Combined with his ball hawking mentality, it makes him a prospect that would have Zimmer drooling to get his hands on. If Jeff Gladney is there at pick 22 for the Vikings, it would be a perfect pick, and a perfect fit for the Minnesota Vikings.

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