Toby Gerhart is a name that hasn’t gotten much play in the press since his final year at Stanford where he was runner up to Mark Ingram in the Heisman race after running for 1,871 yds and 27 TD’s. It also probably has a little something to do with playing behind Future Hall of Fame running back, Adrian Peterson, in Minnesota. I believe this will completely change in 2014. Gerhart will finally be free to test FA after his 4 yr apprenticeship with the Vikings and has a chance to remind us of what made him so special at Stanford.
I kind of feel his situation will mirror that of Michael Turner who also played behind a future HOF running back in LT in San Diego. Gerhart doesn’t have a lot of mileage on his legs since coming into the NFL. Thus far in his 4yr career he has carried the football 276 times for 1,305 yds 4.7 YPC along with 5 TDs. He also has 77 rec for 600 yds and 3 TDs. He has been productive when he has gotten his opportunities, but it is just difficult when AP is in front of you.
Gerhart has proven to be a well rounded back in his playing time so far in the NFL. He has quick feet and is very shifty in his lower body and for a man his size he is very athletic. If he has a head of steam nobody is going high on this guy or its game over. His power is very impressive and he can convert those 3rd and shorts we struggled to convert this past year. He is solid in pass blocking and has been a very good receiver out of the backfield. Now he isn’t going to break many runs over 40 yds, but he will get you 4-5 yds a pop. He will wear down an opposing defense with continual carries and could be downright hell for any defense if you partner his brute force and the South Florida weather. He’s the perfect complement to Lamar Miller. He’s a smart kid who has the makeup that Miami wants to infuse into this locker-room. Another important factor is he will have a very reasonable price tag. Gerhart is also NFL proven, so there is less pressure to reach for a draft pick and it allows you to attack for value rather than need in the draft. I think Gerhart is a name to monitor closely once we hit FA.