7 Wide Receivers the Minnesota Vikings Can Add in Each Round of the NFL Draft

Matthew Stensrud@@MattStensrudContributor IIIMarch 21, 2013

7 Wide Receivers the Minnesota Vikings Can Add in Each Round of the NFL Draft

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    As the Minnesota Vikings wrap up a busy free-agency season, the team landscape has started to take shape with additional clarity heading into the NFL draft, which takes place on April 25-27.

    Rick Spielman made a bold move trading Percy Harvin to the Seattle Seahawks for a first- and seventh-round draft pick in this year's draft.

    With additional ammunition, I projected the Vikings to select two wide receivers in the first round of a post-Harvin mock draft, building onto a desperately bleak receiving corps.  

    Shortly after, the Vikings re-signed Jerome Simpson to a one-year, $1.35 million contract, with a $500,000 signing bonus and $250,000 workout bonus (via Tom Pelissero of 1500ESPN.com). 

    Spielman then landed one of the biggest free-agent prizes by signing Greg Jennings to a five-year, $47.5 million contract ($18 million guaranteed), according to ESPN's Josina AndersonFormer teammate and Viking quarterback Brett Favre reportedly helped convince Jennings to come to Minnesota.

    With some life pumped back into the Vikings offense, the team will most likely focus at least one—or both—of its first-round draft picks on defense, waiting for future rounds to add depth at receiver.

    With our attention previously focused heavily on the early rounds of the draft, we take a look at potential receiver options at each stage of the seven-round event.

    All combine statistics courtesy of NFL.com. 

Round 1: Keenan Allen, California

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    Junior, 6'2", 206

    Keenan Allen has the potential to develop into a No. 1 wide receiver for the Vikings, blending smooth route-running and terrific ball skills to compete for passes downfield. 

    With the addition of Greg Jennings, Allen would gain an immediate mentor to navigate through defenses in the NFC North. The duo would provide a much-needed arsenal for Christian Ponder and take significant pressure off the league's leading rusher, Adrian Peterson.

    Cordarrelle Patterson projects as my first wide receiver selected and Tavon Austin may now be targeted by the St. Louis Rams after losing Danny Amendola to the New England Patriots.

    Considering the current state of affairs, Allen may be destined for Minnesota.

    Honorable Mention

    DeAndre Hopkins, Clemson

Round 2: Quinton Patton, Louisiana Tech

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    Senior, 6'0", 204

    If the Vikings choose to pass on receiver in the first round, Quinton Patton would be an excellent selection with the 52nd overall pick.

    Patton shows strength against press coverage and good agility in the open field. He has soft hands in traffic and can make difficult catches look easy on the sidelines. 

    Although lacking height as a vertical threat, his quickness and ability to get off the line will be highly valued in the NFL.

    Honorable Mention

    Terrance Williams, Baylor

Round 3: Aaron Dobson, Marshall

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    Senior, 6'3", 210

    Aaron Dobson is the best prospect to come out of Marshall since Randy Moss—a statement likely to perk up the ears of most Viking fans.

    The durable receiver started all 37 games of his college career and impressed scouts at the Senior Bowl with a constant motor and an ability to make difficult catches.

    Dobson will need to get stronger as a pro and improve separation against defenders, but the Vikings would land top value in the third round with this senior wideout.

    Honorable Mention

    Markus Wheaton, Oregon State

Round 4: Cobi Hamilton, Arkansas

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    Senior, 6'2", 212

    Cobi Hamilton earned first-team All-Conference honors as a senior for the Razorbacks. He totaled 90 receptions for 1,335 yards and five touchdowns.

    Hamilton is a physical receiver with the ability to break tackles and accelerate after the catch. He's not afraid to go over the middle and runs sharp routes with a good break against defenders.

    As we enter the middle rounds of the draft, the Vikings can add some true starting talent from a deep class at the wide receiver position.

    Honorable Mention

    Kenny Stills, Oklahoma

Round 5: Chris Harper, Kansas State

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    Senior, 6'1", 229

    Chris Harper was a converted quarterback to receiver for the Kansas State Wildcats, demonstrating better ability to catch the ball than deliver it.

    As a junior, Harper posted 40 catches for 547 yards and five touchdowns. He followed that up with 58 receptions for 857 yards and three touchdowns.

    Harper is a strong receiver with good size and toughness. He ran a 4.55 in the 40-yard dash at the combine, displaying a nice combination of size and speed.

    Honorable Mention

    Josh Boyce, TCU

Round 6: Marcus Davis, Virginia Tech

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    Senior, 6'3", 233 

    Similar to Harper, Marcus Davis converted from quarterback to wide receiver out of high school. His size and speed are a unique combination, running a 4.56 in the 40-yard dash at the combine.

    Davis uses his size to shield defenders when competing in tight quarters, and he fights for extra yards after the catch. He has excellent jump-ball ability with a 39.5-inch vertical leap, making life easy for quarterbacks throwing downfield.

    Although still raw at the position, the former Hokie would be a great development project for the Vikings this late in the draft.

    Honorable Mention

    Aaron Mellette, Elon

Round 7: Rodney Smith, Florida State

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    Senior, 6'4", 225

    Rodney Smith is a tall downfield threat who can stretch the field vertically. He ran a 4.51 in the 40-yard dash at the combine and displays good quickness and agility.

    In his final two seasons at Florida State, Smith hauled in 74 passes for 1,085 yards and seven touchdowns. He runs smooth routes and tracks the ball well over his shoulder.

    Smith will need to improve getting off the line in the NFL and must add strength to battle defenders, but the Vikings can wait deep into the draft and still select a playmaker in the final round.

    Honorable Mention

    Brandon Kaufman, Eastern Washington

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