The Secret Weapon to the Success of the Vikings Offense in 2009

Tanner ThomsSenior Analyst IApril 19, 2009

EAST RUTHERFORD, NJ - AUGUST 17:  Sidney Rice #18 of the Minnesota Vikings looks on against the New York Jets during their preseason game on August 17, 2007 at Giants Stadium in East Rutherford, New Jersey. The Jets won 31-16. (Photo by Nick Laham/Getty Images)

"With the 44th overall pick in the 2007 NFL Draft, the Minnesota Vikings select Sidney Rice, Wide Receiver from the University of South Carolina."

The Vikings were in major need of young and talented wide receivers. Sidney Rice was expected to be the pick when Minnesota was on the clock.

Rice had high expectations as being the next best thing for the Vikings. Many expected him to be a potential future Pro Bowler.

He has perfect size for a receiver, 6'4'', 205 lbs. Could you honestly ask for anything better?

Rice signed a four year deal with the Vikings shortly after the '07 draft.

A little known fact about him is that he excels at two sports. He led his high school basketball team, Gaffney, to a State Championship.

Rice averaged 18 points and seven rebounds per game, earning him the 4A Basketball player of the year.

He is known for being a fast and athletic type of player. Rice is also one of the more nice players in the NFL. He addresses every reporter that he speaks to as "Sir or Ma'am"

There is no doubt that he is a great athlete and a great person in general, but when is it time for him to become a great NFL player?

So far in his two year career Rice has 46 receptions, 537 yards, and eight touchdowns. Personally I'm not going to write him off yet as being a bust. Often times it takes a receiver longer to develop into a great player than other position players.

Rice caught his first career touchdown against the Green Bay Packers on September 30, 2007. From that moment I had strong faith in this kid. I knew he would turn out to be a phenomenal key to the Vikings offense.

Believe it or not, Rice even completed two passes for 94 yards in 2007. He has a career QB rating of 109.7.

He has the total package of a great player.

Is it the Quarterback situation that is holding him back, or is it the fact that he has hardly seen the field in his short lived NFL campaign?

Rice was plagued with an ankle injury for most of the 2008 season. He only had 15 receptions for a total of 141 yards.

Minnesota needs to find some way to utilize Rice's incredible abilities. He has great potential to be a threat to the opposing secondary.

With all of this said, I still believe the Vikings need to draft a receiver in either the first or second round.

Bobby Wade won't be around forever. When he leaves for another team, Rice can move into the slot, leaving somebody like Hakeem Nicks or Darrius Heyward-Bey to start.

I hope all of you Vikings fans keep the faith in Sidney Rice. He is a great player who just needs to find his place in Minnesota's complicated offense.

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