Two years ago Duron Carter, the athletic son of Vikings legend Cris Carter, tried out for his dad’s old team at rookie minicamp. Despite initial reports that the Vikings were looking to sign the younger Carter off his tryout, the Vikes ultimately passed on Duron, as did the New Orleans Saints after Carter also tried out for them.
With the NFL door closed to him for the time being, Duron set his sights on Canada. Young Carter scored a contract with the Montreal Alouettes and, as it turned out, immediately began having success. In his rookie year in Canada, Duron racked up 909 receiving yards and five TDs, becoming one of the CFL’s brightest young stars.
Now, entering his second year in the CFL – with Chad Johnson as his teammate, BTW – Carter is poised to get another shot at the NFL. There’s at least one guy out there who thinks Carter has a great chance to not only make the NFL but be a star. Montreal GM Jim Popp absolutely raved about Duron to Peter King in Monday’s MMQB. Popp told King:
Every NFL team should be after Cris Carter’s son. Duron Carter is a phenomenal athlete. He’s got every measurable. He’s fast, 6-foot-4, can be a punt returner in the NFL with his size, can run with the ball, has got tremendous body control. When he got on the field last year for us he was just phenomenal. And hopefully he stays healthy this year. He’ll be a highly, highly sought after, Cam Wake kind of guy. This is Duron’s second year, and another year is going to be great for him. But this guy can go in and be a one or two guy [first or second receiver]. He is phenomenal. He can’t finish in the CFL season and then go to NFL in 2014, but teams could sign him to a futures deal for 2015.
Duron failed to make a great impression the first time he tried out for the Vikings, but he’s obviously worked on his game in the months since then, and the way he’s performed in Canada must have caught the eye of Rick Spielman who is always looking at the CFL for talent.
If Duron has indeed blossomed as it appears, I don’t see why the Vikings wouldn’t give him another shot either by signing him to a futures contract or simply inking him to an NFL contract if he is still available after the end of the season.
The problem is that now Carter is on everyone’s radar, so the Vikings will likely have competition if they want to sign him. Maybe loyalty to his dad’s old team will prompt Duron to give the Vikings first crack? Unless he’s still smarting over their decision to pass on him two years ago. Then I don’t imagine he would be interested in giving the Vikes any special consideration.
Duron’s progress in the CFL will be something to watch at any rate. The CFL season is already underway and, with NFL games still a couple months off…well, it’s an excuse to watch football, right? Even if it is Canuck football.