I think the Vikings have made some moves this offseason that greatly improved what was already a 10-6 playoff team. The national “experts” apparently do not agree, but those same people said the team would win 3-5 games last year. So that obviously means there are a lot of players to be excited about. Greg Jennings, Kyle Rudolph, Sharif Floyd, and AP just to name a few. That being said, there are two second year players on the team that i am very excited to watch this year, and I will explain why.
First I will talk about Jarius Wright, his first three years at Arkansas showed mediocre numbers in receptions, yards, and TD’s, but his senior year he exploded for 1117 yards on 66 receptions and accounted for 12 TD’s. Those numbers speak for themselves. Last year the Vikings didn’t start using him really until Harvin went down. He got off to a slow start, in fact the whole passing game kind of disappeared for a few weeks, but even though he didn’t put up real heavy numbers (22 receptions for 310 yards and 2 TD’s), he really started to come into his own toward the end of the season. We also saw him used a couple times as a rusher, much the way Harvin was, so look for that to continue. This year he will have all the opportunities in the world with the attention that Jennings, Rudolph, and perhaps Patterson will command. We also know how much Ponder relies on his slot guy as a security blanket, so look for Wright to make some noise this season.
Next I would like to talk about Josh Robinson. His best year in college was his freshman season, when he was named to the all freshman team. he had 69 tackles and 6 picks, one of which went to the house. He also ran a 4.29 40 at the combine, which was the fastest of anyone there. I’m guessing he will be the main slot guy with Cook and Professor X on the outside. Last year he had 2 picks, one of which almost went all the way, to go along with 56 tackles. Very solid for a rookie. This year Im looking for major improvement and more opportunities for him now that Winfield is playing for the Vikings West team. I can see him getting somewhere around 4 or 5 picks and I am also looking for him to be used more as a pass rushing DB in blitz packages. Also, while it appears that Patterson will be handling the bulk of the returns do not be surprised if Preifer gives 21 some good opportunities with that blazing speed of his.
Two players who aren’t real well known at the national level but will have a big impact this season.