Another day of training camp practices, and another day of no Percy Harvin or Sidney Rice on the practice field. We’ve written about this a couple of times here on the vikings.com Blog during 2010 Verizon Vikings Training Camp and the prevailing positive spin on this situation is that the absence of 2 of the club’s top 3 WRs is giving others on the WR depth chart a chance to showcase their abilities.
That’s true. But now I want to take it a step further.
Who is making the most of that opportunity? I’ll qualify my opinion by reminding you that we’re far from being able to make a final judgment on the matter because we haven’t even played 1 preseason game yet. This decision won’t ultimately be made until after the 4th preseason game, which is in early September.
For now, though, I’d point to Jaymar Johnson and Logan Payne as 2 players who might be able to carve out a roster spot for themselves in light of the unavailability of Harvin and Rice during camp. Both Harvin and Rice should be ready to go once the regular season comes around, and both Bernard Berrian and Greg Lewis have had good camps and will be on the roster. But I wonder if the absence of Harvin and Rice for such an extended time during training camp might cause Vikings brass to consider keeping 1 more WR than originally planned.
If so, a solid camp from Payne and 2+ years of experience in this system from Johnson make them the top candidates to land the job, in my eyes. Johnson is slight in frame, but he’s continually improved since the Vikings grabbed him with a 7th round draft pick in 2008. Johnson was at Winter Park on a daily basis this offseason and he possesses the straight-line speed and shifty feet necessary to compete for a roster spot. Payne has slowly worked his way into a good training camp, plodding along in the early days but picking up steam along the way. He carries himself well on the football field and doesn’t seem to miss any assignments. I’ve also noticed him on kick coverage units, which is going to increase his chances.
As we stated, there’s a long way to go before this decision is made. But for the time being, don’t sleep on Johnson or Payne just yet.
Tags: Jaymar Johnson, Logan Payne, Percy Harvin, Sidney Rice
Posted in All, Mike Wobschall | 9 Comments »