Minnesota Vikings: Which Rookies Will Make an Immediate Impact?
The 2012 NFL draft was especially important to the Minnesota Vikings after a dismal 2011-2012 season that started with high aspirations. After making some crafty trades in the draft, the Vikes were left with a pretty impressive class that filled many needs. These guys are the most pressed to make an impression in the coming year.
Greg Childs, WR
The glaring weak spot in Minnesota's arsenal was the lack of pass production. As the second Arkansas receiver taken by the Vikings in the fourth round, Greg Childs can help rectify that with his 6'3" frame and 4.4 speed.
Granted, he is coming off knee surgery from a 2010 patella tear, and a lackluster college season; but his 41.5 inch vertical suggests that he may be fully recovered from that injury. If so, he could be a much needed addition to help Christian Ponder find someone else not named Percy Harvin in the passing game.
Matt Kalil, OT
Minnesota traded down one spot and still got their man in USC tackle Matt Kalil with the fourth overall pick. Kalil will help the development of quarterback Christan Ponder who, in all seriousness, needs development. Vikings' QBs were sacked 49 times last year; and that's not taking into account all the elusive plays Ponder and hybrid QB Joe Webb were able to make.
At tackle, Kalil will allow Charlie Johnson to move to left guard, and help the line become formidable once again. I'm sure Adrian Peterson probably doesn't mind his new wall either.
Harrison Smith, S
Trading up late in the first round, the Vikings snagged Notre Dame safety Harrison Smith. A better zone read defender than cover man, Smith looks to be a ball hawk at the free safety position. He should immediately contend with Mistral Raymond for a starting spot; and help upgrade a secondary that gave up almost 275 total yards per game, and only came up with eight interceptions last year.
Josh Robinson, CB
When you post a 4.33 (rumored to be a 4.29) 40-yard dash, you're going to turn some heads—probably in a quick head-jerk motion.
Josh Robinson, from Central Florida, came out early as a junior and may need time to develop his cover skills, but could possibly work his way into the starting lineup. Also, Robinson could be a kick returner and take some pressure off of Percy Harvin; who would no longer have to look up into all those lights, which contribute to his migrane headaches.
I don't know if I've ever written about one dude helping another dude's headaches as contribution. Must be a Florida thing.