It is apparent now that the Minnesota Vikings were probably never going to move forward with Percy Harvin and would have had to use an early draft pick on a new wide receiver. Minnesota has signed Greg Jennings away from Green Bay in hopes that he could revive his career to that of a major threat again, but even then they are dangerously thin in that unit.
For that reason, and because they now have the Seahawks' 25th overall pick, it seems almost like a foregone conclusion that Minnesota will draft a receiver early. But where and which one?
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Besides Jennings, the Vikings currently have Jerome Simpson, Jarius Wright, and Stephen Burton. Those three players combined for 619 yards last season. So Minnesota could target a receiver like Keenan Allen out of Cal, if he is available later in the first round. That is who Rob Rang of CBS Sports projects to the Vikings at No. 25 in his latest mock draft:
Without the versatile Harvin's services, Minnesota now must add considerable help to their receiving corps to keep defenses from crowding the line of scrimmage to stop Adrian Peterson. That started with the signing of Greg Jennings but the Vikings can't stop there. A sprained PCL has kept Allen from working out for scouts and his stock may be slipping as a result. When healthy, however, he's shown the physical talent, work ethic and toughness to be a No. 1 target.
Before he sent Allen to the Vikings with the 25th pick, Rang also projected Datone Jones of UCLA to fill in on the defensive line when Minnesota makes the 23rd pick of the draft:
Jones has the bulk and strength to play inside at defensive tackle, as well as enough burst to attack the edge at defensive end, as well. Considering the passing attacks Minnesota faces annually in the NFC North, the ability to pressure the quarterback trumps a traditional run-stuffer.
Both players could make immediate impacts on a team that made the playoffs in 2012. Will that be enough to overcome the loss of Harvin?