With the 2012 NFL Supplemental Draft only days away, former Baylor wide receiver Josh Gordon has been picking up steam as the draft’s most intriguing prospect.
There have been several teams to show interest in the talented-yet-troubled receiver, but the latest to wash up in pre-draft rumors is the Minnesota Vikings.
Known around the league as a team lacking in the wide receiver department, the Vikings took several steps this offseason to strengthen their passing attack. They drafted two former Arkansas wide receivers in Darius Wright and Greg Childs and added veteran Jerome Simpson to help the cause. Still, it’s unclear how much better their receiving corps will be in 2012.
So when a talent of Gordon’s caliber became available via the NFL’s Supplemental Draft, it must have caught the Vikings’ attention.
What Gordon would bring to the Vikings is a wide receiver with 4.3 speed and phenomenal playmaking abilities. Gordon, given the nickname “Flash” for a reason, has a knack for making something out of nothing. On top of his explosiveness, he also boasts the size (6’4’’, 220 pounds) to match up against the biggest cornerbacks in the league. He has soft hands and does a great job of extending to haul in any pass that comes his way.
The biggest lingering issue for Gordon is his spotted off-field history. While at Baylor, he was arrested for marijuana possession, resulting in his suspension. He then transferred to Utah but sat out the next season and hasn’t seen the field since 2010. Gordon lacks experience and has only one year as a starter under his belt, but that isn’t as big of a deal with wide receivers.
It’s obvious that there are some lingering concerns about Gordon’s off-field issues, but the talent and potential are currently out-weighing the negatives. If several scouts have already touted him as a better prospect than former Baylor teammate Kendall Wright, who went No. 20 overall to the Tennessee Titans during the 2012 NFL Draft, there’s a good chance that he’s a talent not worth passing up.
If the Vikings really are serious about landing Gordon, it will likely take a third-round pick to acquire his services. Per Supplemental Draft rules, spending a draft pick on a player will cost the team a draft pick of equal value in the upcoming offseason’s NFL Draft.
Giving up a third-round pick to draft Gordon might be a bit of gamble for the Vikings considering the two mid-round draft picks they already spent on wide receivers this offseason. And yet, the potential that the former Baylor pass-catcher possesses might just be enough for them to cut their losses.