Lemke’s Bold Prediction #9: Six Wide Outs Make It, Including Webb & Childs
[NOTE FROM ADAM: In case you missed it, Lemke’s first bold prediction involved the safety position and you can read about it by clicking right here. Enjoy round two!]
Many eyes will be on the suddenly talented group of Vikings wide receivers when training camp opens at the end of July. With new faces like Greg Jennings and rookie Cordarrelle Patterson, along with familiar faces Jarius Wright, Jerome Simpson, and Pro Bowl MVP tight end Kyle Rudolph, fans have a reason to be excited about the passing game. After the probable four “locks” to make the roster (Jennings, Patterson, Wright, and Simpson), the competition becomes intense for the rest of the receivers as to who will still be wearing purple in September.
Joe Webb, Chris Summers, undrafted free agent Rodney Smith, and the hopeful success story Greg Childs will all have to compete for roster spots over the course of the season. Summers was picked up by the Vikings and placed on the practice squad in 2012 after being cut by the Chicago Bears. He is a long shot to make the team, but he has been making some noise this offseason, reportedly looking good in practices. Another long shot is undrafted rookie Rodney Smith out of FSU, however his height (6’5) and speed are both very impressive. I think the main competition will be between Greg Childs and Joe Webb, but even though the Vikings rarely keep more than five receivers, I think both will make the team.
To see Greg Childs come back after suffering an extremely rare dual knee cap blowout would be amazing, and it sounds like he will possibly be ready for training camp. Provided he’s ready and is able to play during the preseason, I think he’ll be another great weapon to add to the mix, and I don’t see how he couldn’t make the roster. I think Joe Webb’s role won’t be so much at wide receiver, but more of a special teams ace. Special teams coordinator Mike Priefer has already talked up the idea of using Webb on special teams as a punt returner, field goal blocking schemes, and even as a gunner on the punting team. I think his versatility as a receiver and special teams member will win him a roster spot, but honestly I’m just glad his days as a quarterback are over (for us anyways).