Blanton, Robert “RJ”

leaf12YS blantonCard: Leaf Young Stars 2012
Acquired: 2013, Box Breaker

A tall, lanky Safety/Corner at 6’1″, 208, Robert Blanton played collegiality at Notre Dame, where he was one of the most coveted defensive backs coming out of High School. A steady producer, Blanton is coveted for his hybrid ability to play both safety and corner, especially in zone packages, or up tight against the run game. With an underwhelming 40 time, Robert makes up for it with good instincts, athleticism, and an impressive jam at the line of scrimmage. He also displayed some skill in the return game as a punt returner adding a touchdown to his resume. RJ finished with his best season in 2011 as a Senior posting 70 tackles, 1 sack, 2 picks, 1 FF, and 6 pass breakups for the Golden Domers. ┬áLeslie Frazier and the Minnesota Vikings nabbed Blanton in the 5th round, feeling that he fits what they do in the Tampa-2 up there. ┬áThe Vikings officially penciled him in as a safety, and he saw his first playing time in the NFL against Tennessee (10/7), finishing with 13 total tackles (10 solo, 3 ast) in 2012. In 2013 RJ moved into the starting lineup and recorded a career high 13 tackles in the Vikings season finale over the Detroit Lions. He wound up with 60 tackles for the year but his first career interception continues to elude him.