Just a month ago, just about every Viking fan had his fingers crossed that a certain 6’5, 230 pound Wide Receiver by the name of Vincent Jackson would soon be playing in purple. However, soon after free-agency opened, that dream was shattered. V-Jackson signed with the Buccaneers, ending all hopes of having a killer WR core in Vincent Jackson and Percy Harvin. As the days progressed, more and more of the top receivers were signed, such as Pierre Garcon with the Redskins, and Reggie Wayne with the Colts, and none with the Vikings. While it may seem that we don’t have a plan, and that we are going to go on with really only one solid receiver in Percy Harvin, we should wait until after the draft to start assuming so. In this post I am going to give you some possibilities to acquire a deep-threat receiver-some more likely then others, some may be as unlikely as the Vikings winning the Superbowl this year, but why not dream? Without further ado, lets get started.
Possibility #1: Draft Alshon Jeffery with the 35th overall pick in the 2012 draft.
Alshon Jeffery is a physical freak, at 6’4, 230. In 2010 at South Carolina, he seemed to be a lock for a top-10 pick in the 2012 draft, but then 2011 came. This year was a big disappointment for Jeffery. There are many different arguments as to why Jeffery didn’t produce as well in 2011; ranging from inconsistent QB play to a bad work ethic. Whatever the reason is, Jeffery is still a heck-of-a prospect, that i think will find lots of success in the NFL. He is projected to go somewhere around the end of the first round to the beginning of the second round. If he does indeed fall to the Vikings in the second round, you better believe that Spielman and co will snatch him up.
Possibility #2: Draft Stephen Hill with the 35th overall pick in the 2012 draft.
Stephen Hill reminds me a lot of Calvin Johnson. First off, they are both from Georgia Tech, they are both big-bodied, and they are both extremely tall(Hill is 6’4, Johnson is 6’5). Hill is a heck of a playmaker, who didn’t have a huge draft stock until after the combine, where he ran the fastest 40 time for any Wide Receiver. Hill, like Jeffery, is now expected to go anywhere from the end of the first round to the beginning of the second round. If both Hill and Jeffery are on the board when the Vikings pick in the second round, then I would expect the Vikings to take Hill, who is the faster and more hyped of the two.
Possibility #3: Trade down a few spots in the first round and draft Justin Blackmon.
This would not be the best option in my opinion, as the O-Line is a greater need, but hey, it could happen. Justin Blackmon is a 6’1 WR out of Oklahoma State. He is expected to be a top-10, possibly even a top-5 pick. He is a big play maker and racks up tons of yards after the catch. Blackmon is considered to be a possession receiver at the NFL level, which would make you wonder if he can spread the field, which is what the Vikings so desperately need.
Possibility #4: This is the wild-card-Trade for a current Wide Receiver on another NFL team.
You have to wonder, after the Bears traded for Brandon Marshall, if the Vikings are thinking about doing the same. The only player who I think may be in this situation is Michael Crabtree from San Francisco. With Randy Moss and Mario Manningham recently signing with San Francisco, you have to wonder if Crabtree is the odd one out. Crabtree has had an up and down pro-career. At first, he seemed to be just a possession receiver with lots of foot-injuries, but then last year he started to make a name for himself, catching a lot more deep balls then he had in previous years. He really showed off some speed this past year that many thought he lacked. While this situation is very unlikely, you never know what could happen. I mean, who ever thought Randy Moss was going to be traded back to Minnesota?
Possibility #5: Sign Braylon Edwards to a short-term contract.
Braylon Edwards is a big question mark. He was a top 5 pick a few years ago by the Cleveland Browns, but struggled with inconsistency and dropped balls, and didn’t really have a great year until 2010, when the Jets signed him. However, in the 2011 free-agency period, the Vikings were believed to be interested in Braylon, but Braylon ended up signing with San Francisco(nothing new), and there he struggled with multiple injuries, and was eventually dropped shortly before playoffs started. This year, he is a free-agent again, and at 29, he could be considered to old for a rebuilding team. However, if the Vikings do decide to give Braylon a chance, expect it to be on a short-term contract, likely with no guaranteed money.
The most likely possibility would be to draft either Alshon Jeffery or Stephen Hill, but in the NFL, anything can happen.
Thank you for reading, and be sure to comment below about what you think. You can follow me on twitter@jackmack28.