It should come as no surprise that everyone agrees the Vikings will (and should) draft one of the draft's top 10 receivers. Heck, there's a good chance that even TWO in the top 10 will wear the new Vikings uniform as the Vikings have three picks that are all likely to feature a top 10 receiver on the board.
I have probably studied this year's receivers more than any other position (mostly because of the need, but also because this was a difficult group to evaluate). And while I don't believe anyone stand out as a top 15 overall draft selection I think there's plenty of promising prospects.
The following is a breakdown of my top 10 receivers in the 2013 Draft based on a combination of how good he can be in the NFL, how likely he's to become a long-term starter, the player's overall game, but also the Vikings' needs.
- Cordarelle Patterson
Normally I wouldn't rank a player who has more questions (based on experience) than most others in the top 10, but Patterson has a unique blend of athleticism and size that's hard to not be impressed by. He shows flashes of great receiver-skills, but I'm just in awe of his running abilities. He has the physical tools like Julio Jones, but he needs to improve to become a true number one receiver. I think he can be used sort of like a big Percy Harvin. Can be dangerous returning kicks and on reverses.
- Tavon Austin
... Talking about Percy Harvin, Austin is the perfect replacement. Although much smaller, Austin seems to be able to stay on the field more than Harvin. Partially because Harvin plays more reckless and seeks more contact (Austin just doesn't have the size anyways). Also, Austin seems like a great character-guy.
- DeAndre Hopkins
I've already raved about this guy in other posts. Vikings have been dreaming about the homecoming for Larry Fitzgerald every year since he entered the league and Hopkins might be the next best thing. The other two guys ranked higher have more potential, but Hopkins is the safer pick. Only thing keeping Hopkins from number one spot is lack of elite speed (but hey, that doesn't seem to stop Fitzgerald).
- Keenan Allen
Once ranked number one, Allen has seen a big drop the last few weeks. I was very disappointed to see that he has not fully recovered from his injury because it should have healed by now. Some say "but he's be fully recovered by the time the season starts", but the way I see it is that there's a big chance he might never fully recover. And to make things worse, he wasn't even very fast BEFORE the injury.
- Robert Woods
For some reason I don't like offensive skill-players out of USC. They all seem overrated every year, but I think Robert Woods has the potential to become the second coming of Reggie Wayne as he reminds me of him.
- Justin Hunter
Size and speed almost similar to Randy Moss seems great and all, but I questions his focus and inconstancy. I don't like the bust factor.
- Terrance Williams
Underrated, good all-round player. Excellent end-zone threat. Although good height, his arms and hands does not match up.
- Stedman Bailey
Even with amazing production in college, Bailey is overshadowed by his teammate Austin, but Bailey is more of a true wideout. Did I mention his college production? 114 receptions for 1,622 yards and 25 touchdowns in 2012. 25 TOUCHDOWNS!
- Quinton Patton
Overall good. Nice speed and decent size. Not any glaring holes in his gameimilar to fellow draftee Robert Woods.
- Ryan Swope
Decent size and nice build. Though running back-turned-receiver with great quickness who can be used similar to Percy Harvin. Body-catches a little too much and concussions can be an issue.
Kenny Stills - I like Kenny! He could just as well have made the top 10. Overall he's very good, but lacks the elite tools you'd like in the NFL.
Markus Wheaton - Great speed, but small size and I don't like his hands. Overrated.
Da'Rick Rodgers - Boy, Tennessee sure is this year's WR factory. "Da Freak" has great potential that rivals even his former teammates, Patterson and Hunter. Unfortunately, he has very questionable character.
How do you rank this year's receivers?