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Bleacher Report – Vikings

Gedeon can secure a role with strong performance vs. 49ers

By Matthew Coller

The Minnesota Vikings drafted linebacker Ben Gedeon in the fourth round with hopes that his instincts and quickness would quickly translate into a run-stopping role in the 2017 squad.

So far, so good.

Gedeon started against the Seattle Seahawks and has routinely taken first-team reps throughout camp, setting him up to win the role vacated by veteran Chad Greenway, who retired after last season.

Following the Seattle game, head coach Mike Zimmer broke down what he saw from the former Michigan linebacker:

“He’s a football player, he finds the football, gets off the block, he had a couple that weren’t great and he had a couple misfits,” Zimmer said. “The one ball down the middle, that was him, but he’ll get better in those things. We spent a lot of time with the coverage part of it today with those guys.”

The biggest concern with Gedeon is his coverage. He struggled in college against the pass and must show improvement there. Last year’s matchup with Indianapolis should act as a cautionary tale for what can happen if the base package linebacker struggles in coverage. The Colts used multiple tight ends to get Greenway on the field, then threw on those downs for big plays.

“I think the biggest thing for me right now is just getting the schemes down,” Gedeon said. “Preseason is big for that and I’ve been able to do it at a couple different positions and the older guys have helped me out with that.”

Gedeon is in the driver’s seat to earn a percentage of the snaps in run situations and possibly act as the backup to starters Eric Kendricks and Anthony Barr. The rookie has worked at different spots during camp, presumably to give him some experience in case of injury.

“A lot of it is very similar,” he said. “Once you learn one position, you learn Mike and you pretty much know all of Will. So it’s easy to make that transition.”

Gedeon will have to perform against the 49ers and Dolphins to win the job. Both veteran Emmanuel Lamur and Edmond Robinson have also taken first-team snaps during camp.

“I have a long way to go,” Gedeon said. “We have two preseason games to go so I’m looking forward to getting better in each one of these.”

The post Gedeon can secure a role with strong performance vs. 49ers appeared first on 1500 ESPN Twin Cities.

Source:: 1500 ESPN Sportswire

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