Marc Sessler over at NFL.com has started the site's annual "Making the Leap" countdown, a list that highlights players that are expected to be significantly better than they were the season before. Last year's list had three members of the Minnesota Vikings on it, those three being defensive end Everson Griffen, cornerback Xavier Rhodes, and receiver Cordarrelle Patterson.
Well, to borrow from noted philosopher M. Loaf, two out of three ain't bad.
The first entry on this year's list is another member of the Minnesota Vikings, with the site focusing on wide receiver Charles Johnson. Johnson didn't join the Vikings until Week Three of last season and didn't start seeing significant playing time until Week Five, but still managed to finish third on the team in receiving yardage with 475.
The article goes over quite a bit of what Johnson accomplished after the Vikings picked him up last season and how some #2 wide receivers have fared in Norv Turner's offense over the years. At the end, it goes into what Sessler expects from Johnson in 2015, and he's looking at some pretty impressive numbers.
Johnson played in 94.9 percent of the team's snaps over the final six games of the year. Factoring in (Mike) Wallace -- who failed to lead Miami in catches in either of the past two seasons -- and healthy tight end Kyle Rudolph, I don't have a problem pegging Johnson with 60 catches for 900 yards and six touchdowns, which would make him one of the most productive No. 2 targets in Turner's history as a coach.
For a point of reference, 900 yards would have led the Vikings in receiving in 2014. And 2013. And 2012. And 2010.
Now, maybe I'm reading Sessler's commentary incorrectly, but even with 60 catches, 900 yards, and six touchdowns, he still seems to have Johnson characterized as a #2 target. I'm not sure if he's implying that Johnson is going to be the Vikings' top target by the end of the season or. . .and this is the way I read it initially. . .if he's expecting an absolutely monstrous season from Mike Wallace.
Either way, though, it appears that Charles Johnson isn't going to be a secret for much longer at the receiver position for Minnesota. Hopefully he'll make the "leap" that he's expected to this coming season. And, unless I miss my guess, he won't be the only Viking on this year's list, either. . .I expect that the guy that's going to be throwing the ball his way will be on there as well, at the very least.