Minnesota Vikings: Greg Childs Could Be a Steal of the Draft, but Not This Year

Nick McAndrewsCorrespondent IIIMay 18, 2012

AUBURN - OCTOBER 16:  Wide receiver Greg Childs #85 of the Arkansas Razorbacks catches a pass behind defensive back Neiko Thorpe #15 of the Auburn Tigers during the game at Jordan-Hare Stadium on October 16, 2010 in Auburn, Alabama.  The Tigers beat the Razorbacks 65-43.  (Photo by Mike Zarrilli/Getty Images)
Mike Zarrilli/Getty Images

Minnesota Vikings rookie receiver Greg Childs could very well be the steal of the 2012 draft class, but he probably won't be seen that way this year.

Childs recently said on Vikings Tonight with Mike Wobschall and Paul Allen that he views himself as the steal of the class and that he was overlooked because he came back too early after injuring his knee.

He believes that he's ready to go and that he will push for a starting spot week one. “I came back entirely too soon,” Childs said. “I’m not concerned about the knee problem at all. I’m 100 percent. There’s no slowing down.”

I commend the rookie for his confidence and eagerness to get out and produce for his team, but I'm just not convinced that he will have an impact right away.

After a sophomore season that netted him 894 receiving yards and seven touchdowns, Childs was considered in the same conversation as Georgia's A.J. Green and Alabama's Julio Jones. 

As part of a receiving corps that also included Joe Adams and Jarius Wright, Childs followed up in his junior season with 659 yards and six touchdowns before a season ending tear to his patellar tendon.

Childs came back in his senior season, catching only 21 passes for 240 yards with no touchdowns. 

Though it may be encouraging that he still averaged 11.4 yards per reception after his injury, the former Razorback was still held out of the end zone all year, which is concerning because he is a deep-threat receiver. 

Sure, the "fact" that he is "now 100 percent healthy" could mean that he'll produce more than he did in his senior season, but after that much time away from elite competition, it will be very tough for him to compete right away at the NFL level, even in training camp. 

Childs's best opportunity to show what he's got will be in the first three weeks of the regular season, while newly signed WR Jerome Simpson serves his three-game suspension.

Sure, the 15th-ranked Indianapolis Colts pass defense might be easier to move the ball against, but when you face the San Francisco 49ers, who intercepted 23 passes in 2011 and are returning all 11 defensive starters, and the eighth-ranked Jaguars, who intercepted 17 passes in 2011 with essentially their entire secondary on IR, the Vikings pass offense could be in trouble. 

I'm not saying that it will be impossible for Childs to produce in 2012, but consider the fact that rookie wideouts rarely put up big numbers right away. For Childs to be considered the steal of the draft, that's what it's going to take. 

As a Vikings fan, I truly hope I'm wrong about Childs. But sadly, my 20-year devotion to this team has left me a cynical football fan and a pessimist about the 2012 season. 

Here's to hoping that I'm wrong. Thanks for reading.

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