Brace Hemmelgarn-USA TODAY Sport
The Minnesota Vikings won't have the worst receiving corps in the NFL this season.
We won't come right out and say they've had the worst group of pass-catchers over the last two years, but they certainly weren't on anybody's short list.
The Vikings' days of writing out checks to the likes of Bernard Berrian, Greg Camarillo, Michael Jenkins and Devin Aromashodu are long gone.
What would have been hard to hear for any Vikings fan at this point a year ago is that Minnesota would be heading into the 2013 season without the services of Percy Harvin. In a whirlwind of an offseason, Harvin is currently on the PUP list in Seattle, while former Packer Greg Jennings has taken on the role of No. 1 receiver for the Vikings.
The Vikings were certainly happy with what they saw out of rookie Jarius Wright in the latter half of 2012, but Wright has exceeded most expectations in his second training camp with the team and, according to 1500 ESPN's Andrew Krammer, feels like he can play a much bigger role on this year's team.
The other two receivers who are a lock to make this year's roster are Jerome Simpson and rookie Cordarrelle Patterson. Simpson is fully healthy and looking to make amends for a disappointing 2012. Patterson has shown flashes of brilliance so far, including a 50-yard kickoff return against the Texans.
The battle for the fifth and perhaps sixth receiver spots is running hot and heavy.
Third-year man Stephen Burton appears to have a leg up for the fifth spot. 1500 ESPN's Judd Zulgad reports that Burton has stood out in practices and returned the ball well in both exhibition games. Burton has frustrated Vikings fans by not providing much in his two seasons with the club, but playing wide receiver in the NFL isn't easy, and Burton has shown great improvement.
Joe Webb, Chris Summers, Rodney Smith and Adam Thielen have all had their moments in camp but might ultimately be doomed by the numbers game.
Overall, the Vikings will have much more depth at receiver than they've had in years. It will be nice for the Vikings coaches to have to agonize over who to cut at receiver rather than agonizing over who to keep.