Leslie Frazier dropped a little hint today about the intended make-up of the Vikings‘ regular season roster, telling reporters the team “expects” to enter the year with five wide receivers. Things could still change of course, but as of now this would seem to leave just one spot up for grabs on the receiver corps. This is based on the assumption that Percy Harvin, Bernard Berrian, Michael Jenkins and Greg Camarillo are in.
But wait a second…how safe is our assumption about the four guys who are “in”? What about Camarillo? What is his actual role on this team going to be? He has good hands but he’s slow, which would seem to make him an ideal possession receiver. Problem is, Michael Jenkins is also a possession receiver, and he has better speed than Camarillo and also is a good blocker.
Jenkins’ familiarity with Bill Musgrave’s offensive approach from their time together in Atlanta would seem to give him another leg-up on Camarillo. The other role Camarillo might fill is punt returner, since he did that last year, but given his lack of speed and shiftiness I have to assume the Vikings would rather someone else win that job, maybe Jaymar Johnson.
Let’s discuss Jaymar Johnson a little more. So far in camp he has been very impressive (at least according to the beat reporter tweets I’ve been reading). Johnson has the skills to be a downfield threat, the very thing the Vikings’ currently lack. He also could become a solid return man. If Johnson continues putting on a show in practice, he could slide into that solid top 4.
Let’s assume Johnson is a notch above Camarillo, because of his deep ball ability and return skills. That leaves Camarillo fighting with guys like Devin Aromashodu, Emmanuel Arceneaux, Stephen Burton and Juaquin Iglesias. At first glance it doesn’t seem Camarillo, an established vet, has much to fear from any of those guys. But it all depends on what the Vikings want from their fifth receiver.
It could be Leslie Frazier and company like the speed of Aromashodu over the sure-handedness of Camarillo. The one thing Camarillo does give you is a nice insurance policy in case one of your top 4 guys gets hurt during a game. Aromashodu might be more explosive but you can count more on Camarillo to catch everything thrown to him, plus he has punt return experience, which could come in handy in a pinch.
Right now I would prefer they keep Camarillo over Aromashodu. The other guys in the battle – Arceneaux, Burton, Iglesias and the rest – are going to have to show a lot between now and the end of camp to win a spot over an established player like Cam. It gives us something to focus in on as camp progresses.