Matt Vensel is in his first year at the Star Tribune after covering the Ravens for the Baltimore Sun for six years. He is a Pittsburgh native and a Penn State grad. Follow him at @mattvensel.


Mark Craig has covered the NFL for 23 years, and the Vikings since 2003 for the Star Tribune. He is one of 44 Pro Football Hall of Fame selectors. Follow him at @markcraignfl.


Master Tesfatsion is the Star Tribune’s digital Vikings writer. He is a 2013 graduate of Arizona State and worked for mlb.com before arriving in Minneapolis. Follow him at @masterstrib.


Vikings personnel review: Wide receivers

Posted by: Mark Craig under Vikings, Lions, NFC, Adrian Peterson, Percy Harvin Updated: January 10, 2012 - 9:54 AM

Meetings are taking place at Winter Park this week with the Vikings planning a detailed player-by-player evaluation of their current roster. As they perform their in-house review, we’re following suit and delivering our own snapshot evaluation of each position group.

WIDE RECEIVERS

Get excited: Well, if you're excited about this group, congratulations. You are truly an optimist. Beyond Percy Harvin, there are only spare parts that generate general disinterest and a reminder that the Vikings can't go another season without a legitimate No. 1 receiver. If quarterback Christian Ponder is to develop into a franchise quarterback, the Vikings need to join the 21st century and give him a bonafide No. 1 receiver that can line up wide and create his own mismatches with size, strength and speed down the field. Harvin is a wonderful player, a great example of toughness, tenacity and rare talent. But he's a slot receiver who should feed off not only a strong running attack but a legitimate No. 1 receiver. The Vikings finished the season with six receivers either on the active roster or on injured reserve. Harvin and Michael Jenkins are the only ones the team really needs back next season. Jenkins, who showed flashes of being a nice complementary, No. 2-type receiver, had 38 catches for 466 yards (12.3) and three touchdowns in 11 games before going on injured reserve with a knee injury. He'll never live up to the first-round pick the Falcons used on him, but he's good enough to earn a spot on the 2012 Vikings. The others -- rookie Stephen Burton, former CFL star Emmanuel Arceneaux, Devin Aromashodu and Greg Camarillo -- are decent fellas, but wouldn't be missed if they were cleared aside to make room for better players. Aromashodu and Camarillo are unrestricted free agents. Neither is a priority, although Aromashodu might be worth taking to camp for the right bargain price.
 
Keep an eye on: Other than Harvin, who turns only 24 in May, there isn't much to watch. However, it will be interesting to see what kind of market develops for Aromashodu. With so many holes throughout the roster, it will be difficult if not impossible for the Vikings to flush everybody but Harvin and Jenkins and start over at receiver. For the right price, Aromashodu might be a very good No. 4 receiver. He has some natural downfield skills and will be only 28 in May. He averaged 18.0 yards per catch, best on the team among receivers with more than two catches. Aromashodu is still a raw player that could develop in a situation where he's not counted on to start or be a No. 1- or No. 2-type target. If the league-wide interest in him is low and he can be brought back for the right price, the Vikings might be wise to bring him back as a fourth receiver who knows the offense.
 
Reason for worry: With so many needs throughout the roster -- cornerback, safety, left tackle, linebacker, depth in general -- the fear is the Vikings might think they can get by again without a legitimate No. 1 receiver. That would be a huge mistake and sure wouldn't help Ponder's progress from overwhelmed rookie to a legitimate NFC North QB. The question is where to shop for a No. 1 receiver. The Vikings pick No. 3 overall in this year's draft. That means they could be in line for the best receiver available, Oklahoma State's Justin Blackmon, if the Rams don't take him No. 2 overall. As a rule of thumb, the third pick overall pick is considered too high for a receiver. Of course, that rule of thumb has noteable exceptions such as the Lions' Calvin Johnson, a former No. 2 pick who had one of the finest years ever by a receiver this season (96 catches, 1,681 yards, 17.5 average, 16 touchdowns). He's the type of player the Vikings need to put alongside Ponder, Harvin, tight end Kyle Rudolph and Adrian Peterson, once Peterson is healthy again. But if the Vikings opt instead for a left tackle -- another huge need that USC's Matt Kalil would fill -- where do the Vikings turn to find a bonafide No. 1 receiver? That's a question the team must answer because this offense won't be able to join the 21st century without a No. 1 receiver.

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Team Irvin 32 FINAL
Team Carter 28
Miami 96 FINAL
Chicago 84
Oklahoma City 98 FINAL
Cleveland 108
Dallas 106 FINAL
New Orleans 109
Indiana 106 FINAL
Orlando 99
LA Clippers 120 FINAL
Phoenix 100
Minnesota 100 FINAL
Atlanta 112
Detroit 110 FINAL
Toronto 114
Milwaukee 95 FINAL
San Antonio 101
Boston 111 FINAL
Golden State 114
Washington 117 FINAL
Denver 115
Houston 99 FINAL
LA Lakers 87
Team Toews 17 FINAL
Team Foligno 12
South Florida 53 FINAL
Connecticut 66
Boston College 64 FINAL
Georgia Tech 62
Virginia 50 FINAL
Virginia Tech 47
Indiana 70 FINAL
Ohio State 82
Stony Brook 61 FINAL
Binghamton 54
Cincinnati 56 FINAL
UCF 46
Maine 70 FINAL
Hartford 61
Monmouth 64 FINAL
Manhattan 71
Fairfield 67 FINAL
Marist 73
Rowan 48 FINAL
Princeton 96
St Bonaventure 48 FINAL
Rhode Island 53
Duke 77 FINAL
St Johns 68
Saint Peters 69 FINAL
Siena 55
Drake 40 FINAL
Wichita State 74
Vermont 61 FINAL
UMass Lowell 50
Seton Hall 57 FINAL
Butler 77
NJIT 72 FINAL
South Alabama 55
Northern Iowa 54 FINAL
Illinois State 53
Louisville 80 FINAL
Pittsburgh 68
UMBC 55 FINAL
Albany 69
Niagara 64 FINAL
Iona 87
Notre Dame 81 FINAL
NC State 78
Belmont 63 FINAL
Tennessee St 55
Creighton 50 FINAL
Villanova 71
Northwestern 67 FINAL
Maryland 68
Washington 56 FINAL
Utah 77
Senior-North 34 FINAL
Senior-South 13
Seton Hall 99 FINAL
Georgetown 85
St Johns 69 FINAL
Villanova 81
Arkansas 58 FINAL
Florida 72
Maine 56 FINAL
UMBC 42
Vanderbilt 55 FINAL
Alabama 52
Lafayette 60 FINAL
Lehigh 65
UCF 61 FINAL
SMU 57
Utah 51 FINAL
Washington 63
James Madison 73 FINAL
Coll of Charleston 53
Delaware 56 FINAL
Drexel 61
Hofstra 56 FINAL
William & Mary 57
Hartford 58 FINAL
Albany 82
Binghamton 54 FINAL
Stony Brook 67
Towson 63 FINAL
UNC-Wilmington 71
Wake Forest 80 FINAL
(17) Florida State 110
Georgia Tech 68 FINAL
Virginia 62
(22) Georgia 51 FINAL
(5) Tennessee 59
Drake 79 FINAL
Evansville 62
Iona 80 FINAL
Canisius 62
Fairfield 33 FINAL
Monmouth 59
Northwestern 75 FINAL
Penn State 76
Wisconsin 71 FINAL
Michigan State 77
Ohio State 79 FINAL
Purdue 71
Northern Iowa 57 FINAL
Indiana State 55
Butler 58 FINAL
Xavier 54
Creighton 93 FINAL
Marquette 75
Providence 42 FINAL
DePaul 90
Northeastern 77 FINAL
Elon 80
(2) Connecticut 96 FINAL
Cincinnati 31
Oregon 78 FINAL
Arizona 81
Bradley 46 FINAL
Loyola-Chicago 45
NC State 49 FINAL
(23) Syracuse 66
(7) Maryland 84 FINAL
Indiana 74
Illinois State 35 FINAL
Missouri State 58
Colorado 68 FINAL
Washington St 73
Tulane 45 FINAL
South Florida 64
(14) Kentucky 83 FINAL
Missouri 69
(9) Oregon State 68 FINAL
(13) Arizona State 57
Vermont 63 FINAL
UMass Lowell 72
Iowa State 58 FINAL
(8) Texas 57
Southern Ill 61 FINAL
Wichita State 80
(15) Duke 74 FINAL
(12) North Carolina 67
Miami-Florida 55 FINAL
(4) Louisville 68
(21) Minnesota 61 FINAL
(25) Rutgers 66
California 72 FINAL
UCLA 57
(11) Stanford 71 FINAL
USC 60
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Date/Opponent Time W L Score
2014 preseason     
Aug 8 - vs. Oakland 7 pmX10-6
Aug 16 - vs. Arizona 7:30 pmX30-28
Aug 23 - at Kansas City 7 pmX30-12
Aug 28 - at Tennessee 7 pmX19-3
2014 regular season     
Sep 7 - at St. Louis NoonX34-6
Sep 14 - vs. New England NoonX30-7
Sep 21 - at New Orleans NoonX20-9
Sep 28 - vs. Atlanta 3:25 pmX41-28
Oct 2 - at Green Bay 7:25 pmX42-10
Oct 12 - vs. Detroit NoonX17-3
Oct 19 - at. Buffalo NoonX17-16
Oct 26 - at Tampa Bay NoonX19-13 ot
Nov 2 - vs. Washington NoonX29-26
Nov 9 - Bye
Nov 16 - at Chicago NoonX21-13
Nov. 23 - vs. Green Bay NoonX24-21
Nov. 30 - vs. Carolina NoonX31-13
Dec 7 - vs. NY Jets NoonX30-24 ot
Dec 14 - at Detroit 3:25 pmX16-14
Dec 21 - at Miami NoonX37-35
Dec 28 - vs. Chicago NoonX13-9

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