Rob Grabowski-US PRESSWIRE
It seems the Vikings have met their yearly quota of ex-Chicago Bears receivers, although this time he didn't last through camp.
Chris Summers should remind fans of another Big South conference product, Jerome Simpson. In fact, Summers broke a number of the conference records that Jerome set, using much the same skill set as him.
At Liberty, Summers produced 92.2 yards per game his senior year and even more his junior year—108.1. Over those two years, he grabbed 22 touchdowns and his last game was a 10-catch, 240-yard spectacle.
Summers (4.52) isn't as fast as Simpson, but he is taller by about two inches at 6'4½". This height, in addition to his ability to catch in traffic, allowed him to break some of Simpson's records in the Big South, including season receiving yards (1,081), receiving yards per game, number of 200-yard receiving games (two), number of three-touchdown games (three) and number of 1,000-yard receiving seasons (two).
Beyond that, he set a few of his own, including the 100-yard receiving games mark (six), most receiving yards in a game (240), single-game receptions (15) and places second to Simpson in single-season touchdown receptions (15) and receiving yards per catch (15.8).
It's not just his prolific college production that stands out, either. What he lacks in initial burst and overall agility, he makes up for in deep speed and effort. He has refined his technique every year he's been in the game, despite already being a top receiver in his conference.
Like Simpson, Summers has fantastic body control and good reflexes in reaction to a ball in the air, and exhibits great focus. He can land fluidly, and his control extends to his ability to land in-bounds—critical for a red-zone target.
The young Liberty alum is a very physical player, as well. He can make tough catches in traffic and plays opposing defensive backs aggressively. He'll want to build on his frame a little bit to do this more effectively against NFL-level corners, but he knows how to be assertive.
He can block well, too, which is rare for a prototypical deep threat. He'll finish the play on his block in order to break open a runner, even downfield.
He does have some of Simpson's foibles, too. He's a rough route runner who needs to show more exploding out of breaks and performing the full route tree. They share an affinity for the deep slant, but NFL-ready receivers need to do more. Simpson makes up for this in part with good intuition against soft coverage, but it remains to be seen if Summers can do the same.
He also needs to do some work high-pointing the ball when it is in the air, but it is one of his only areas of improvement in the catch department. Further, he's not fantastic for yards after the catch, what with relatively limited agility and acceleration, as well as a dearth of moves with the ball in his hands.