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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Buffalo 12/28/14 12:00 PM
New England
Cleveland 12/28/14 12:00 PM
Baltimore
Dallas 12/28/14 12:00 PM
Washington
Indianapolis 12/28/14 12:00 PM
Tennessee
Jacksonville 12/28/14 12:00 PM
Houston
San Diego 12/28/14 12:00 PM
Kansas City
NY Jets 12/28/14 12:00 PM
Miami
Chicago 12/28/14 12:00 PM
Minnesota
Philadelphia 12/28/14 12:00 PM
NY Giants
New Orleans 12/28/14 12:00 PM
Tampa Bay
Carolina 12/28/14 3:25 PM
Atlanta
Detroit 12/28/14 3:25 PM
Green Bay
Oakland 12/28/14 3:25 PM
Denver
Arizona 12/28/14 3:25 PM
San Francisco
St. Louis 12/28/14 3:25 PM
Seattle
Cincinnati 12/28/14 7:30 PM
Pittsburgh
TBA 1/3/15 2:00 AM
TBA
TBA 1/3/15 2:00 AM
TBA
Toronto 110 FINAL
LA Clippers 98
Boston 20 2nd Qtr 9:29
Washington 38
Orlando 26 2nd Qtr 9:53
Charlotte 23
Memphis 6:30 PM
Miami
Indiana 7:00 PM
Brooklyn
New Orleans 7:00 PM
Chicago
Atlanta 7:30 PM
Milwaukee
Philadelphia 8:00 PM
Utah
New York 9:00 PM
Sacramento
Minnesota 9:30 PM
Golden State
NY Islanders 1 1st Prd 3:26
Buffalo 0
Detroit 0 1st Prd 5:54
Ottawa 1
Carolina 0 1st Prd 5:23
Tampa Bay 1
New Jersey 0 1st Prd 3:06
NY Rangers 0
Boston 1 1st Prd 3:32
Columbus 1
Winnipeg 0 1st Prd 8:13
Minnesota 0
Washington 6:30 PM
Pittsburgh
Dallas 7:00 PM
St. Louis
Philadelphia 7:00 PM
Nashville
Anaheim 7:00 PM
Arizona
Chicago 8:00 PM
Colorado
Edmonton 9:00 PM
Calgary
San Jose 9:00 PM
Los Angeles
Indiana 87 FINAL
Georgetown 91
Maine 43 FINAL
Seton Hall 72
UNC-Wilmington 82 FINAL
Minnesota 108
Georgia State 61 FINAL
Green Bay 78
Jacksonville St 61 FINAL
Jacksonville 75
Kentucky 58 FINAL
Louisville 50
Northern Ky 55 FINAL
Northwestern 76
UAB 58 FINAL
North Carolina 89
IUPUI 55 FINAL
Pepperdine 53
Santa Clara 60 FINAL
St Marys-CA 73
Oakland 56 FINAL
Maryland 72
Gonzaga 63 2nd Half 11:02
BYU 61
Mercer 41 2nd Half 5:30
Georgia 47
San Francisco 57 2nd Half 6:12
Pacific 59
Wright State 14 1st Half 6:24
Ohio State 33
Presbyterian 12 1st Half 7:50
Virginia Tech 21
Brescia 7:00 PM
Western Ky
Tennessee St 7:30 PM
Tennessee
Kennesaw St 8:00 PM
Illinois
Colorado State 8:00 PM
New Mexico St
Portland 8:00 PM
San Diego
Wayland Baptist 8:05 PM
Utah State
Bristol University 8:05 PM
Weber State
Sacramento St 8:05 PM
Utah Valley U
Southern Utah 9:00 PM
UNLV
SD Christian 9:00 PM
San Diego St
Illinois 18 FINAL
Louisiana Tech 35
Rutgers 40 FINAL
North Carolina 21
NC State 34 FINAL
UCF 27
Cincinnati 17 FINAL
Virginia Tech 33
(15) Arizona State 36 FINAL
Duke 31
Miami-Florida 21 FINAL
So Carolina 24
Boston College 21 4th Qtr 8:32
Penn State 14
(25) Nebraska 7:00 PM
(24) USC
Texas A&M 12/29/14 1:00 PM
West Virginia
Oklahoma 12/29/14 4:30 PM
(18) Clemson
Arkansas 12/29/14 8:00 PM
Texas
Notre Dame 12/30/14 2:00 PM
(22) LSU
(13) Georgia 12/30/14 5:45 PM
(20) Louisville
Maryland 12/30/14 9:00 PM
Stanford
(9) Ole Miss 12/31/14 11:30 AM
(6) TCU
(21) Boise State 12/31/14 3:00 PM
(12) Arizona
(8) Miss State 12/31/14 7:00 PM
(10) Georgia Tech
(19) Auburn 1/1/15 11:00 AM
(17) Wisconsin
(7) Michigan State 1/1/15 11:30 AM
(4) Baylor
(16) Missouri 1/1/15 12:00 PM
Minnesota
(2) Florida State 1/1/15 4:00 PM
(3) Oregon
(5) Ohio State 1/1/15 7:30 PM
(1) Alabama
Houston 1/2/15 11:00 AM
Pittsburgh
Iowa 1/2/15 2:20 PM
Tennessee
(11) Kansas State 1/2/15 5:45 PM
(14) UCLA
Washington 1/2/15 9:15 PM
Oklahoma State
East Carolina 1/3/15 11:00 AM
Florida
SMU 45 FINAL
(2) Connecticut 96
UCF 64 FINAL
Houston 50
BYU 62 FINAL
Gonzaga 78
Pacific 92 FINAL
San Francisco 54
St Marys-CA 62 FINAL
Santa Clara 61
San Diego 7:00 PM
Portland
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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 Noon

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