Wiederer: Array of receivers come in all sizes, styles at combine

  • Article by: DAN WIEDERER
  • Updated: February 22, 2013 - 8:59 PM

The Vikings should be able to shore up their mediocre corps.

hide

West Virginia receiver Tavon Austin answers a question during a news conference at the NFL scouting combine.

Photo: Michael Conroy, Associated Press - Ap

CameraStar Tribune photo galleries

Cameraview larger

INDIANAPOLIS - With the Super Bowl in the rearview mirror and still nine weeks left before NFL draft weekend, comparison season has exploded across the league. So it was no surprise Friday that as 38 receivers funneled through the NFL combine for media interviews, they each came with parallels.

Cal's Keenan Allen, a prospect who could be an ideal fit for the Vikings at No. 23, likened his skill set to that of Ravens standout Anquan Boldin.

"I watch highlight tape to see what he's good at," Allen said. "And it's his physicalness, that ability to go up and make catches you don't think he's going to come down with. [Joe] Flacco just throws it up there, and he makes incredible catches."

West Virginia's Tavon Austin, a small, explosive and versatile playmaker? He can't go 10 minutes these days without eliciting references to Vikings standout Percy Harvin.

And Tennessee's Justin Hunter could only laugh when told his college quarterback, Tyler Bray, had stamped him as Gumby thanks to his ability to bend and contort to make big-time grabs.

"If the freakish catch presents itself," Hunter said, "I'm there to catch it."

From Tennessee's Cordarelle Patterson (comparison: Demaryius Thomas) to Marshall's Aaron Dobson (Sidney Rice 2.0?), the surplus of receiving talent in this year's draft was apparent Friday.

It will become even more obvious when those playmakers take the field Sunday for drill work plus speed and agility testing. Perhaps most obvious of all, the Vikings are almost certain to dig into this receiver grab bag in late April aiming to upgrade a unit that might have been the league's most ordinary in 2012.

"The depth at wide receiver should help us," Frazier said, "[especially] as we go through this with nine picks."

Consider this: Even after missing the final seven games, Harvin (62 catches, 677 yards) still led Vikings' receivers in receptions by 22 and yardage by 228. Michael Jenkins was second in both categories but is nearing his 31st birthday and might become a contract casualty in the coming weeks.

So, yeah, a talent infusion is necessary. And Frazier asserted Friday that he'll have his eyes peeled for speed.

"We need an all-encompassing guy, a guy who can run by some people, who can make the hard catch for us if he's in a contested situation but hopefully also can get us some yards after the catch. And he has to be a guy who has the smarts to be able to understand game plans from week to week."

So now the question becomes where the Vikings will pounce in a draft in which intriguing receiving talent promises to still be on the board into the third day.

If they're eager to grab a receiver with their top pick, then maybe Allen, a self-professed film junkie, will provide the perfect fit. A knee injury will prevent him from running here Sunday. So the Vikings will have to wait until Cal's pro day March 14 to get a stopwatch on him.

But Allen seems to fit the wish list; he's productive, smart and dedicated even if he might not have blazing speed.

"Where the Vikings are picking, I think that kid's a heck of a value," said Mike Mayock, the NFL Network's resident draft guru. "Here's the deal with Keenan Allen: If you like him on tape, he's Anquan Boldin. If you don't like him, he's speed-deficient."

Baylor's Terrance Williams (think Torrey Smith) and Louisiana Tech's Quinton Patton (similar to Reggie Wayne) could also make sense in Round 1.

Yet the depth of this draft class might give the Vikings the patience to look at a pass-catcher with the 52nd and 83rd picks on Day 2 or even into Day 3.

Perhaps Southern Cal's Robert Woods is an option when the Vikings are on the clock in the second round. He may have inside help at Winter Park from former college teammates Matt Kalil and Rhett Ellison.

"They both said they'd put in a good word for me," Woods said Friday.

Kalil and Ellison might also want to use the prevailing Woods comparison, noting how his burst and agility resemble James Jones'.

Just how valid these comparisons turn out to be is anyone's guess. But in a year where the Vikings need receivers, there seem to be plenty of options.

Dan Wiederer • dan.wiederer@startribune.com

  • 2013 NFL COMBINE THROUGH TUESDAY IN INDIANAPOLIS

  • get related content delivered to your inbox

  • manage my email subscriptions

ADVERTISEMENT

New England 2/1/15 5:30 PM
Seattle
Milwaukee 6:00 PM
Orlando
New York 6:00 PM
Indiana
Denver 7:00 PM
Memphis
Chicago 9:30 PM
LA Lakers
Montreal 6:00 PM
NY Rangers
Winnipeg 6:00 PM
Philadelphia
Boston 6:00 PM
NY Islanders
Arizona 6:30 PM
Toronto
Dallas 6:30 PM
Ottawa
Detroit 6:30 PM
Tampa Bay
Columbus 6:30 PM
Florida
Nashville 7:00 PM
St. Louis
Minnesota 8:00 PM
Calgary
Buffalo 8:30 PM
Edmonton
Anaheim 9:00 PM
San Jose
DePaul 72 FINAL
Providence 83
Michigan State 42 1st Half 0:23
Rutgers 34
Boston Univ 6:00 PM
Army
Fla Atlantic 6:00 PM
Charlotte
Youngstown St 6:00 PM
Detroit
East Tenn St 6:00 PM
Furman
Saint Louis 6:00 PM
George Mason
USC Upstate 6:00 PM
Jacksonville
High Point 6:00 PM
Liberty
Central Conn St 6:00 PM
Long Island
Western Ky 6:00 PM
Louisiana Tech
Dayton 6:00 PM
Massachusetts
Chattanooga 6:00 PM
Mercer
Wofford 6:00 PM
UNC Greensboro
Maryland 6:00 PM
Ohio State
FIU 6:00 PM
Old Dominion
Fair-Dickinson 6:00 PM
Robert Morris
Mount St Marys 6:00 PM
St Francis-NY
Bryant 6:00 PM
St Francis-PA
Northern Ky 6:00 PM
Stetson
Coll of Charleston 6:00 PM
Towson
Western Carolina 6:00 PM
Va Military
Sacred Heart 6:00 PM
Wagner
Lipscomb 6:00 PM
Fla Gulf Coast
Kennesaw St 6:00 PM
North Florida
Appalachian St 6:30 PM
Ga Southern
Holy Cross 6:30 PM
Loyola-Maryland
Eastern Ill 6:30 PM
UT Martin
Jacksonville St 7:00 PM
Belmont
Connecticut 7:00 PM
Cincinnati
Rider 7:00 PM
Saint Peters
SIU Edwardsville 7:00 PM
SE Missouri St
Marshall 7:00 PM
Southern Miss
Tenn Tech 7:00 PM
Tennessee St
Middle Tennessee 7:00 PM
TX-San Antonio
Ill-Chicago 7:00 PM
Milwaukee
Weber State 7:00 PM
North Dakota
Denver 7:00 PM
North Dakota St
IUPU-Ft Wayne 7:00 PM
South Dakota
Louisiana 7:05 PM
South Alabama
Georgia State 7:15 PM
Texas-Arlington
Ark-Little Rock 7:30 PM
Arkansas State
ULM 7:30 PM
Troy
Portland 8:00 PM
Gonzaga
Kentucky 8:00 PM
Missouri
Eastern Ky 8:00 PM
Murray State
UAB 8:00 PM
Texas-El Paso
Idaho State 8:00 PM
Northern Colorado
UMKC 8:00 PM
Grand Canyon
Chicago State 8:05 PM
Utah Valley U
Colorado 8:30 PM
USC
Cal Poly 9:00 PM
UC Irvine
Hawaii 9:00 PM
CS-Northridge
Pepperdine 9:00 PM
Pacific
Santa Clara 9:00 PM
San Diego
Utah 9:00 PM
UCLA
UC Santa Barbara 9:00 PM
UC Davis
Montana 9:05 PM
Portland State
Montana State 9:05 PM
Sacramento St
Long Beach State 9:30 PM
Cal State Fullerton
Loyola Marymount 9:30 PM
St Marys-CA
San Francisco 10:00 PM
BYU
California 10:00 PM
Washington St
Louisiana 47 FINAL
South Alabama 57
Saint Josephs 51 FINAL
Saint Louis 52
Appalachian St 77 2nd Half 0:03
Georgia Southern 71
Niagara 40 2nd Half 3:56
Saint Peters 47
Old Dominion 38 2nd Half
FIU 25
Southern Miss 35 2nd Half 20:00
Marshall 28
Georgia State 15 1st Half 0:40
TX-Arlington 21
Ark-Little Rock 34 2nd Half
Arkansas State 35
ULM 10 1st Half 5:45
Troy 34
Pittsburgh 10 1st Half 9:32
(17) Duke 19
(6) Tennessee 6:00 PM
(10) Kentucky
(24) Oklahoma 6:00 PM
(14) Texas
Nebraska Omaha 6:00 PM
IUPU-Ft Wayne
UC-Riverside 6:00 PM
CS-Northridge
Army 6:00 PM
Boston U
New Orleans 6:00 PM
Nicholls
Charlotte 6:00 PM
Florida Atlantic
Towson 6:00 PM
Delaware
Hofstra 6:00 PM
Northeastern
New Hampshire 6:00 PM
Maine
Albany 6:00 PM
Vermont
Hartford 6:00 PM
Stony Brook
UNC-Wilmington 6:00 PM
William & Mary
Clemson 6:00 PM
Wake Forest
Alabama 6:00 PM
(1) South Carolina
(23) Syracuse 6:00 PM
(8) Louisville
Missouri 6:00 PM
Florida
Iona 6:00 PM
Fairfield
Manhattan 6:00 PM
Marist
NC State 6:00 PM
Virginia
(4) Notre Dame 6:00 PM
Virginia Tech
(22) Rutgers 6:00 PM
Purdue
(5) Maryland 6:00 PM
Michigan
Milwaukee 6:00 PM
Cleveland State
Wright State 6:00 PM
Oakland
Jacksonville 6:00 PM
USC Upstate
North Florida 6:00 PM
Kennesaw St
Stetson 6:00 PM
Northern Ky
Loyola-Maryland 6:05 PM
Holy Cross
Lamar 6:30 PM
Sam Houston St
Fla Gulf Coast 6:30 PM
Lipscomb
Vanderbilt 7:00 PM
(18) Miss State
IUPUI 7:00 PM
Western Ill
Abilene Christian 7:00 PM
Houston Baptist
Incarnate Word 7:00 PM
TX A&M-CC
McNeese State 7:00 PM
SE Louisiana
Oral Roberts 7:00 PM
South Dakota St
Louisiana Tech 7:00 PM
Western Ky
TX-San Antonio 7:00 PM
Middle Tennessee
Texas-El Paso 7:00 PM
UAB
Auburn 7:00 PM
Arkansas
Grand Canyon 7:00 PM
UMKC
Illinois 7:00 PM
(15) Nebraska
(20) Iowa 7:00 PM
Northwestern
Utah Valley U 7:05 PM
Chicago State
Green Bay 7:05 PM
Valparaiso
Ole Miss 8:00 PM
LSU
Portland State 8:00 PM
Montana
Sacramento St 8:00 PM
Montana State
North Dakota 8:00 PM
Weber State
Ohio State 8:00 PM
Wisconsin
Northern Colorado 8:00 PM
Idaho State
BYU 9:00 PM
San Francisco
St Marys-CA 9:00 PM
Loyola Marymount
Pacific 9:00 PM
Pepperdine
Cal-Irvine 9:00 PM
UC Santa Barbara
San Diego 9:00 PM
Santa Clara
UC Davis 9:00 PM
Cal Poly
Long Beach St 10:59 PM
Hawaii
Connect with twitterConnect with facebookConnect with Google+Connect with PinterestConnect with PinterestConnect with RssfeedConnect with email newsletters

ADVERTISEMENT

ADVERTISEMENT

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

ADVERTISEMENT

ADVERTISEMENT

ADVERTISEMENT

question of the day

Poll: Who will win the Super Bowl?

Weekly Question

ADVERTISEMENT

 
Close