I saw Greg Childs' name appear on the screen on the final day of the draft last month, and my mind immediately wandered back to last year's game at Atlanta. In that contest, 5'11" Percy Harvin miraculously caught a prayer from Christian Ponder in the endzone over the heads and outstretched arms of a couple Falcons safeties. I remember thinking to myself, "Well that's great, but that will never happen again."
And it didn't.
Percy Harvin is not a field-stretcher. I mean, he is to the extent that he'll draw defensive backs downfield because, well, they have to respect the No. 1 receiver. But Ponder won't, more often than not, look for him deep downfield in 1-on-1 coverage. He's vertically challenged, to put it sweetly, and it shows. I could take the time to find the statistic somewhere, but let's just say the Vikings were toward the bottom of the league in completed passes deep downfield (I believe they classify that as 25+ yards).
Enter Childs. At 6'4" 220 lbs with one of the best vertical leaps at the Combine (for whatever that's worth), the Vikings finally have the deep threat in place to bolster Ponder's confidence to make the home run throw. And with size advantages lined up wide in Childs and Michael Jenkins, it is my hope and prayer that the Vikings will begin to utilize Harvin the way I believe he was meant to be: in the slot.
No one had more of a "where the HELL did this guy come from?" season last year than Victor Cruz for the New York Giants, and I believe his success in large part was due to having field-stretchers--and downright scary weapons--in Hakeem Nicks and Mario Manningham commanding the secondary's attention. Harvin has all the necessary open-field abilities to rack up the YAC that Cruz did, if not more so.
And I could write a whole separate FanPost about how Jarius Wright will only make things more dangerous.
The potential that the Minnesota Vikings passing game possesses for this upcoming season excites me to the core. They say when you lose your sight or hearing, all of your other senses become heightened. Well, if Adrian Peterson is not 100% to start the season, a heightened ability for Christian Ponder and the passing game is exactly what the doctor ordered.