If there’s one particular player generating last minute draft buzz for the Vikings it is Robert Woods. Mel Kiper has given Woods to the Vikings in his final mock draft. Other national writers are fueling the fire by connecting Woods to the Vikings. Greg Bedard, who will soon join the SI staff as a football writer after years covering Green Bay and then New England, said this on Twitter:
He may not last to 29. Watch the Vikings RT @rlbyrne29: woods can be had early 2nd
— Greg A. Bedard (@GregABedard) April 25, 2013
This is just two guys throwing out a name right? But it’s two very well-connected, highly-respected guys. And we know the Vikings have shown interest in Woods. Wide receivers coach George Stewart spoke in glowing terms about the USC receiver recently:
We’re a character organization from ownership on down. I had a chance to visit with [Woods'] mom and dad and they’re character people. Those are the type of people who will turn an organization, character people. That’s a premium for us… We’re very interested in guys who can make plays. But character first and foremost is what we’re interested in, and [Woods] has that.
The Vikings are seemingly set at flanker with Greg Jennings and Jarius Wright but lack a true #1 split end (unless you count Jerome Simpson which I do not). Woods would fit the bill as a genuine outside receiving threat if he is indeed over the ankle issues that plagued him during his college career. He could be just what the doctor ordered for the Vikings offense.
One little wrinkle to this though. Kiper’s mock has the Vikings taking Woods at 23 only after the Bears snap up Manti Te’o at 20. If the Vikings really like Te’o as much as we have been led to believe, would they consider trading ahead of the Bears to get him? I would not trade up for Te’o myself, but Rick Spielman may be enough in love with this guy to pull the trigger on a deak. When Spielman identifies a position of need he tends to go after that position rather than think in terms of value. That leads to panic moves like taking Christian Ponder at 12 when he could’ve been more patient and gotten a QB later in the draft (maybe even Ponder who was not necessarily going to be taken by Washington in spite of the widely-held belief that the Redskins badly wanted him).
We will see how things play out. But there is last minute buzz for Woods. And the Te’o buzz is still buzzing.