Vikings 2011: WR Michael Jenkins

  • Updated: September 9, 2011 - 1:01 AM
The Vikings are one of the few NFL teams without a bona fide No. 1 receiver. Newcomer Michael Jenkins thinks he can change that.

"I'm looking forward to it being a big year and me putting up big numbers," Jenkins said. "I'm looking forward to really opening things up and helping this be a top-five offense in this league."

Those are some lofty goals. Especially for a guy who never has met the high expectations that came with being the 29th pick of the 2004 draft.

In seven seasons with the Atlanta Falcons, Jenkins never had a 100-yard receiving game, nor a 1,000-yard season. He never had more than 53 catches or 777 yards receiving in a season. And his 20 career touchdowns averages to 2.9 per season.

The Falcons released Jenkins on July 29. The Vikings signed him a day later. And never has a player felt better about leaving a 13-3 team for one that was 6-10.

"I'm excited," Jenkins said. "I don't know what other teams will choose to do against us defensively, but I think I'll be freed up a little bit. Teams know they'll have to deal with Percy [Harvin], [Visanthe] Shiancoe and [Adrian] Peterson. Hopefully, that will leave a lot of one-on-one opportunities that I can take advantage of."

It helps that Jenkins comes over from Atlanta with new offensive coordinator Bill Musgrave. Jenkins knows Musgrave's Falconesque offense well enough to teach it to his teammates. He's also the only receiver at this point that can play the split end, flanker and slot positions. That will help Musgrave and receivers coach George Stewart when it comes to finding favorable short, intermediate and deep matchups for the 6-4, 220-pounder.

"Michael will have a significant role," Musgrave said. "And we know we will throw a bunch of balls his way."

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