The Minnesota Vikings were a surprising playoff team in 2012, led by the phenomenal play of running back Adrian Peterson. However, the Vikings can't always rely so heavily on one player, especially a running back with a history of knee issues, and their second-best player might not be in Minnesota for long. After the season ended on a sour note between head coach Leslie Frazier and receiver Percy Harvin, the Vikings could already be down one more playmaker with another hole to fill.
Even if they manage to make amends with Harvin, the Vikings desperately need more players on offense to take the heat off of Peterson. There could be several good options in the first round of the draft.
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One such player might be West Virginia receiver Tavon Austin, a special playmaker that shares some traits and qualities with Harvin, but he's not the only receiver projected in the first round. If Minnesota were to keep Harvin, then they would be looking for a complement instead of a replacement. That complement could be WR Keenan Allen out of Cal, the player that some call the best receiver in the draft. Rob Rang of CBS Sports projects Allen to the Vikings at No. 23 in his latest mock draft:
The MVP-caliber play of running back Adrian Peterson helped hide the fact that other than Percy Harvin (who led the team in catches despite playing in just nine games), the Vikings have few receivers who scare opposing defenses. Allen is a classic split-end with the size, physicality and mindset to perform well here immediately.
Allen did not participate in the NFL Combine in Indianapolis, and analyst Mike Mayock compared the 6'3, 212-pound receiver to Anquan Boldin. Not bad company. Allen has also been dealing with a knee injury over the offseason that could drop his stock somewhat, but he'd still make an excellent target for Christian Ponder (or a Ponder replacement) in the long run.
With or without Harvin.