Monday, July 22, 2013

Top 5 Training Camp Position Battles: #4 Wide Receivers

In his previous training camp battle, Daniel House took a look at the safety position. Today, he looks at a tight wide receiver positional structure.

Yesterday, I discussed the instability for emergence at the second safety spot. Today, I will look at #4 on my list of 5, which leads me to the a deep wide receiver group.

I have a firm belief that this position group could be one of the last positions to be structured when the final 53 is aligned. With 12 worthy candidates to be reduced to 5 or 6 players, several will need to make a strong case for the active 53-man roster.

Greg Childs

After missing the entire season and most of training camp, Greg Childs has nearly recovered from patellar tears he suffered in both of his legs during the night scrimmage last year. The Vikings are unsure whether he will be able to participate fully in practice, but he will surely be a participant in individual drills. If he does miss extended time and takes a long time to get involved, he may lose the final spot on the roster. The Vikings have much invested into Childs after selecting him in the 4th round of the 2012 draft. He did suffer the same injury in his junior season and struggled to return to leading receiver form since this leg problem. The deciding factor will be his ability to return from the injury and whether or not he can handle the workload required to be successful.

Joe Webb

Webb is making the transition from quarterback to wide receiver (the original intent for him) and brings forth bundles of raw talent. The Vikings organization is hoping to take advantage upon Webb's athleticism and skill-set. In fact, he was more effective with his legs than through the air in his time at the quarterback position. He actually recorded 41 rushing attempts along with 273 yards, which tallied the net average to 6.7 yards per carry. In theory his average was better (6.7) than his passing length average, which came in around 5.6 yards. Theoretically, if he can make the transition and show that he has developed route-running capabilities, he has a very valid chance at making the roster.

Stephen Burton

Burton has been on the Vikings training camp roster for three seasons. A seventh-round draft pick in 2011, Burton has only five receptions the past two seasons. Last year, when the Vikings were in desperate need of an option at wide receiver, he failed to fill the void by recording only 5 receptions for a measly 35 yards. He did reach the end zone once on drag route near the end of the Indianapolis game, but primarily was used as a strong run blocking wide receiver. If Joe Webb can show any type of potential, I don't believe there is anyway that Burton can slide on the roster, unless he turns into "Terrell Owens" (I always love that one) like the Vikings coaching staff stressed.

Adam Thielen

Thielen, a former Minnesota State University Maverick, is making the huge leap from Division II to the NFL. A transition that can be tough for most, but not for Thielen according to many close to the organization. He is known for his reliable hands and body control in traffic, but has struggled with knowledge and concepts when it comes to complex coverage's. A Minnesota native (Detroit Lakes, MN), Thielen is on a journey to accomplish a dream he never believed could occur; the chance to play in the NFL. The main obstacle in the journey will be whether he can handle the transition from small college football to the NFL. If he can comprehend this, he has a legitimate chance to reach the Vikings roster, depending upon his growth and play in the three week stint in Mankato.

Next up....#3 Running Backs

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