I still don’t put much stock in the recent reports of the Vikings moving Darius Reynaud to running back. I recently stated that I think it is little more than pre-Draft smoke trying to mask the Vikings intentions to draft a running back this year, and perhaps earlier than most would expect.
However, according to Judd Zulgad of Access Vikings, reports that the Vikings have made the move (no word on if he had to change his number).
Even in the absence of Chester Taylor, the Vikings backfield is suddenly a bit crowded. Adrian Peterson is the clear cut starter. After that, however, the #2 and #3 spots appear to be up for grabs.
Albert Young is expected to man the #2 spot on the depth chart, at least between now and the draft. Zulgad indicates that right now Reynaud, who projects as a “scat back”, holds the #3 spot. From there, you have James Johnson and Ian Johnson trying to earn some playing time.
To make matters even more complicated, Brad Childress recently suggested that Percy Harvin could see more carries in 2010 than he did in 2009.
But let’s go back to Reynaud.
At Hanville High School, Reynaud rushed for 1,889 yards (8 yards per carry) and 37 touchdowns. He led his team to a 15-0 record that year, which resulted in a State Championship win. At West Virginia, Reynaud was used both on the ground and through the air. Since taking over the Vikings punt return duties, there is little doubt about his ability to make things happen in the open field.
I’ve spent time at running back all my life, so it’s nothing different,” Reynaud told KFAN Radio this week. “It’s a different route going from receiver to running back so I have to learn the protections, all the plays, so it’s something new.”
While I still think that the Vikings will draft a running back, each of these guys should be focused on one thing, and one thing only if they want to earn a spot on the active roster backing up Adrian Peterson: picking up blitzes.
Here is a look at what Reynaud did both in the air and on the ground at West Virginia: