Wednesday, April 04, 2007

Get to Know 'Em: Sidney Rice

Rather than add my voice to the legion of bloggers speculating on the Vikings' first round pick, I'm going to take the draft analysis a step further and preview players the Vikings might take with the 41st overall pick. And in case you're wondering, I'm getting the ideas for players from NFL Draft Countdown, Draft Tek and FF Tool Box. So for all I know, these guys will all be gone in the first round, or will still be available when the Vikings draft in the third round. If it's the latter, let's all pretend this was a third round preview, ok? Thanks.
Yesterday: Anthony Gonzalez, WR, Ohio St.
Today: Sidney Rice, WR, South Carolina

How do you like your second rounders? Are you willing to take a high risk for high reward? Or do you want a player that's closer to fully formed? How much reward is necessary for your risk? Would you rather avoid another Troy Williamson, or find another Randy Moss like steal?

Depending on how you answer those rhetorical questions, Sidney Rice might be the second rounder for you. Rice is a 6'4, 200lb, Redshirt Sophomore out of South Carolina with the potential for stardom and the inexperience and question marks of a bust. Rice has hands that Troy Williamson would kill for, the body type of a #1 receiver and the leaping ability of a basketball player, which, coincidentally, he was in high school. He also has shown the ability to outrun corners at the college level.

On the other hand, he turned in a relatively pedestrian 4.51 forty, has only two years of college games under his belt and doesn't run very precise routes, which, if the Vikings' draft him, can hopefully be explained by his inexperience, rather than any inability to do so. There are also some questions about his ability to make plays after the catch. He will need some time to adjust to the NFL, and would fit in best with a team able to bring him along slowly, something the Vikings don't have the luxury of being able to do.

If the Vikings are willing to risk another Troy Williamson for a player that could become their #1 receiver and has the potential to be a Pro Bowler, Sidney Rice is worth the 41st overall choice. If they want a player that is ready to contribute right away, then Rice is likely not the answer. It might be a moot point, however, as some mock drafts have Rice being drafted before the Vikings choice in the second round.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

As an SC fan and seeing what sidney can do first hand, you guys got an absolute steal. I find myself getting really depressed that he won't be putting on a Gamecock uniform again. I wish him all the best for the time he was at SC. He is truly a special player on and off the field. Troy Williamson was overhyped on raw speed alone, speed doesn't catch footballs. Sidney is absolutely the real deal.