Vikings Draft Targets: Keenan Allen, DeAndre Hopkins Visit Winter Park


November 02, 2012; Berkeley, CA, USA; Injured California Golden Bears wide receiver Keenan Allen (21) leaves the field at half time against the Washington Huskies at Memorial Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Kelley L Cox-USA TODAY Sports

Are the Vikings planning to go receiver in the first round this year? Who knows. They undoubtedly are in the market for a split end. I don’t know if you noticed but their roster is markedly lacking in large outside targets. There are a few guys in this year’s draft class who could possibly step in and fill that hole. Keenan Allen is a name that comes up a lot in mock drafts. So is DeAndre Hopkins. As it happens, both those young men were reportedly in attendance Tuesday when the Vikes held their annual Top 30 event at Winter Park.

The Vikings had good reason to bring in Allen and get a better look at him. There are concerns about his knee after a 2012 injury that cost him three games. Allen was supposed to quiet those worries at Cal pro day in mid-March but was unable to go when his bad knee acted up. Allen did participate in a single non-running drill that day…at the request of a Vikings scout. Hmm…

Hopkins is another intriguing prospect. He has many of the same attributes as Keenan Allen but without the wonky knee. Hopkins is seen as a very polished receiver. He has fine route-running skills and good hands but is lacking in pure speed. The Vikings might be less concerned about raw speed in this draft however. What good does downfield speed do you if the quarterback’s arm limits his ability to deliver in that range? Separation is about more than speed. It’s about knowing how to use your hands and body, and it’s about crisp route running and footwork. Hopkins is a guy who apparently has those abilities.

In addition to the two receivers, the Vikings also reportedly looked at Tyrann Mathieu on Tuesday. Mathieu is trying to calm concerns about his character after being booted off the LSU team for pot.

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