While it is a rare occurrence that two teammates from Warren and Arkansas end up on the same NFL team, drafting Greg Childs and Jarius Wright provides a much needed boost to a lackluster receiving group for Minnesota.
The Vikings had thrown around the idea of drafting Justin Blackmon in the first round, not just because the team does not have a marquee wide receiver, but because the team barely has more than one wide receiver.
Even though Wright and Childs were not drafted in the first or second round, both players are in position to become “late-round” gems since they both have the potential to step right in and help Minnesota.
As you can guess, I am a lifelong Vikings fan. It is a burden I will have to bear until I die, but it is never a dull moment when you follow the team that has gotten every veteran quarterback to play for them when they should have retired instead.
I was delighted to see the Vikings draft Childs and Wright just because I consider them two potential impact wide receivers. That way I no longer have to watch Michael Jenkins pretend he is a starter.
Last year, Percy Harvin caught 87 passes for 967 yards and six touchdowns and also rushed 52 times for 345 yards and two touchdowns. He was even targeted 123 times with 14 catches for 20 or more yards.
However, Harvin also plays at a speed that can get him injured and he has dealt with migraine problems in the past, so head coach Leslie Frazier only had Harvin play about 60 percent of Minnesota’s snaps.
After Harvin, Jenkins was second on the team with 38 receptions for 466 yards and three touchdowns, but he missed the last five games due to a knee injury.
Tight end Visanthe Shiancoe had 36 receptions, but was not resigned. Devin Aromashodu caught 26 passes, which is the same amount I think he dropped.
Tight end Kyle Rudolph is really the only legitimate option Minnesota has to throw to besides Harvin, so Childs and Wright should fit in well.
Wright said he has been learning from Harvin since he plays almost the same position as the former Gator.
Wright caught 66 passes last year for 1,117 yards and 12 touchdowns, and with his speed, he could open the year as Minnesota’s No. 3 wide receiver.
Childs is worked his way back from a calf strain, but he is a big receiver who can stretch the field. Even though his numbers this past season were not the greatest, the 46 receptions for 659 yards and six touchdowns in eight games his junior year before his knee injury show his potential. He will probably start as Minnesota’s No. 4 receiver, but by the end of the year, he could supplant Jenkins by the end of the year and I hope he does.
Wright and Childs may get headlines and chatter for this unique story, the two could start drawing attention for their play on the field for Minnesota by the end of their rookie years.
Justin Rust is a sports writer for The Commercial. Email him at firstname.lastname@example.org.