The Minnesota Vikings are definitely searching for competent wide receivers outside of Percy Harvin, and there should be a fairly open competition for rosters spots and roles throughout training camp and preseason games. Free agent signee Jerome Simpson looks certain to have a significant role, but he will be suspended for the first three games of the season and it’s unknown at this point who will get the starting nod in his place during that timeframe. Veteran Michael Jenkins could be considered the front runner, but further speculation suggests he is on the roster bubble at least in part to his salary ($2.5 million).
Enter Greg Childs, who was a fourth round pick by the Vikings (134th overall) this past April out of the University of Arkansas. His production fell off greatly as a senior in 2011 (21 receptions, 240 yards, zero touchdowns) as he battled the after effects of suffering a torn patella tendon in his knee late in the 2010 season. But Childs was productive prior to the injury in 2010 with 46 receptions for 659 yards and six touchdowns and also had a good season as a sophomore in 2009 (48 catches, 894 yards, seven touchdowns). Prior to the injury he was fairly highly regarded by NFL scouts, as he has the size (6’3″, 219 lbs.) and speed (4.55 40-yard dash) combination that gets attention.
Childs apparently does not lack confidence, having declared himself the steal of the draft this spring, and the team appears to regard him highly as well with a report coming Friday he has “always been the in-house favorite” to start in Simpson’s place early in the season. If Childs is able to earn that role and perform well over that time, it’s safe to say the Vikings will find a way to keep him on the field as much as possible even after Simpson returns to action.