Thursday, November 26, 2015

jarius wright

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More often than not, Skip Bayless embraces the role of human clickbait, bred by ESPN to incite anger among fan bases and drive traffic to his daily morning show, ESPN First Take. A little over a year ago, Bayless made the Vikings a target by criticizing then-rookie quarterback Teddy Bridgewater:

Bayless’s jab at Bridgewater sparked heated debate; “Are his hands too small? Is he too skinny to play in the NFL?”. One year later, and Bridgewater, like most who end up on the other end of Bayless’s buffoonery, is smashing those low expectations. He won the Pepsi Rookie of the Year Award and finished the season as the league’s best rookie quarterback — Bridgewater threw 14 touchdowns and went 6-6 as the team’s starter.

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Yesterday, Carl introduced you to Tyrus Thompson, one of 10 players the Minnesota Vikings selected in the 2015 NFL Draft. We’ll break down every player over the next few days, from first round draft pick Trae Waynes to 7th round project Edmond Robinson.

This morning, I’ll take a look at wide receiver Stefon Diggs, a “swiss army knife” who spent three seasons at Maryland, where he found success as a pass catcher and kick returner for the Terrapins.

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There has been a lot of talk around receivers for the Vikings, especially since the release of Greg Jennings and signing of Mike Wallace. It seems appropriate, then, for Round 3 of Question of the Week:

Who Will Lead the Vikings in Receiving (Catches, Yards & TDs) this Year?

Brent:  Catches: Charles Johnson | Yards: Mike Wallace | TDs: Kyle Rudolph
I think Johnson will continue to be Teddy’s favorite target, mainly because he’ll thrive in the mid-range routes—where Teddy is awesome. Wallace will rack up a lot of yards via deep passes, but he won’t prove to be a significant red zone target. Rudolph’s size and consistent hands will make him a favorite for touchdowns within striking distance. The TE will be used more heavily than last year—as it has in years past in Norv’s offense.

Catches: Charles Johnson | Yards: Mike Wallace | TDs: Mike Wallace
Johnson’s 15.3 yards per catch on 31 receptions in 2014 was impressive to say the least, but Wallace shouldn’t have any problem racking up yards in Turner’s vertical offense. My guess is the targets will be balanced between multiple players, but yardage will be owned by Wallace especially if Adrian comes with a chip on his shoulder.

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“Why’d the Vikings cut him? He was such a nice guy.”

That seemed to be the overriding sentiment when the Vikings announced they had cut bait with soon to be 32-year old wide receiver Greg Jennings Saturday afternoon, only two years into a five-year $47.5 million deal ($18m guaranteed). Not impassioned pleas of “He’s still a #1 receiver” or “Jennings still has something left in the tank”, those came after all of the nice guy pinings – and then to a much lesser degree.

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Free agency is winding down, and the Minnesota Vikings have enjoyed a quiet, if intriguing week of trades and transactions.

Things truly kicked off on Friday, when the Vikings acquired the deep threat they’ve been lacking by trading for Miami’s Mike Wallace. Shortly after making the move, Rick Spielman released veteran wide receiver Greg Jennings, freeing up more than $5 million in cap space. The flurry of roster changes seemingly solidified Minnesota’s wide receiver corps, but I’m hard-pressed to believe the front office is finished tinkering.

Austin’s Mock Draft 2.0 

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