The Beloved Purple have been looking to upgrade at the wide receiver spot for a few years now, with varying degrees of success. Bernard Berrian proved his mettle for the Vikings last season, and Bobby Wade has been a solid (if unspectacular) addition. . .while players like Troy Williamson and the internet's new most famous Viking blogger have disappointed to various degrees. I expect that Sidney Rice will show us a vast improvement next season, but there's always the feeling that the Vikings could use a little more in that department.
So, this news from Pro Football Talk today might be encouraging for those Viking fans. . .among whom I count myself. . .that are hoping that at least one of Minnesota's several draft picks will be spent on wide receiving threats.
In the same radio spot during which SI.com’s Tony Pauline explains that he stands behind what his sources have told him regarding Boston College defensive tackle B.J. Raji’s positive marijuana test result from the February Scouting Combine, Pauline claims that three receivers whom many regard as being round-one prospects might not be drafted until the second round, at the earliest.
Pauline pegs Florida’s Percy Harvin, Kenny Britt of
Rutgers and North Carolina’s Hakeem Nicks as receivers who might not be receiving a first-round rookie contract.
Pauline describes Harvin as being on the fringes of round one, and Pauline says that Nicks will have a hard time getting in to the first 32 picks. Pauline thinks that Britt will be shut out of the first round.
In addition, if this article from Judd Zulgad and Chip Scoggins is accurate, then the Vikings probably aren't considering Mr. Harvin. . .our original pick in the 2009 SBNation Mock Draft. . .at all.
The Vikings have eliminated 78 draft prospects from consideration, and that number could grow before the April 25-26 draft.
Vikings vice president of player personnel Rick Spielman said the prospects earned "red dots" primarily because of character and/or injury issues and were taken off the board. Spielman said that number is similar to that in previous drafts, and that the team conducts an extensive background check before deciding to eliminate players.
"Can't take the dot off," he said Friday. "It's a big scarlet tag, and you can't take it off."
Hmmmmmm. . .a guy who may or may not have tested positive for wacky tobacky at the Combine that hasn't flat our denied it at this point? Yep. . .sounds like a big ol' red flag to me.
As Florio's post points out, last year there were zero wide receivers selected in the first round of the draft. The first receiver taken last year was Donnie Avery, chosen by the St. Louis Rams with the second pick of the second round (number 34 overall). However, although they were nowhere to be found in Round One, nearly one-third of the second-round selections were wide receivers. Those players were
-Donnie Avery, St. Louis (#34 overall)
-Devin Thomas, Washington (#35 overall)
-Jordy Nelson, Green Bay (#37 overall)
-James Hardy, Buffalo (#41 overall)
-Eddie Royal, Denver (#42 overall)
-Jerome Simpson, Cincinnati (#46 overall)
-DeSean Jackson, Philadelphia (#48 overall)
-Malcolm Kelly, Washington (#51 overall)
-Limas Sweed, Pittsburgh (#53 overall)
-Dexter Jackson, Tampa Bay (#58 overall)
As you can see from that list of names, they had varying degrees of success as rookies. To be honest, I would expect a similar Round 2 run this year, if what Tony Pauline is reporting is correct. The only two receivers that, at this point, appear to be locks for the first round of the draft are Texas Tech's Michael Crabtree and Missouri's Jeremy Maclin. Neither one of those two are expected to reach Minnesota's spot in the first round. So, it might be wise for Minnesota to address another position in the first round. . .possibly offensive tackle or defensive back. . .and address the wide receiver spot in Round Two.
Who are those receivers that they might look at in the second round? Well, if I told you now, you might not come back tomorrow. . .and that would be a shame, because we're going to go through some of those second-round type of receivers tomorrow sometime.
Until then, enjoy the last two hours and fifteen minutes of your Saturday, and have a great Easter Sunday, ladies and gentlemen!