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.
April 3: Anthony Gonzalez, WR, Ohio St.
April 4: Sidney Rice, WR, South Carolina
April 5: Charles Johnson, DE, Georgia
April 8: Steve Smith, WR, USC
April 10: Brandon Meriweather, S, Miami
April 18: Jason Hill, WR, Washington St.
April 19: Tim Crowder, DE, Texas
April 20: Justin Blalock: OG, Texas
April 23: Robert Meachem: WR, Tennessee
April 24: Craig "Buster" Davis: WR, LSU
My plan for the week is to finish up my previews of second rounders today and tomorrow, discuss possible first round choices on Thursday and then decide on who I'd like to see the Vikings pick in the first two rounds on Friday. So, without further ado, let's get to know Craig "Buster" Davis, a senior wide receiver out of Louisiana State University.
Davis looks like your standard NFL wide receiver, checking in at 6'1, 207 lbs. He has the speed you look for, running a 4.46 forty and he used it well, both as a deep threat for the Tigers and as a return man his senior year, where he returned 10 punts for 142 yards and a touchdown. He pairs his speed with great body control and what some considered to be the best pair of hands in the SEC. And he adjusts well to poorly thrown balls, something that would be very useful in maintaining Tarvaris Jackson's confidence.
The problem is that Davis' is just as likely to pull a Troy Williamson and drop a perfectly placed pass. His focus is a huge question mark--something that's backed up by his lack of production at LSU, as he did not top the 1000 yard mark in four seasons. There's also a lot of questions about his willingness to absorb hits in order to make a catch, as many of the reports describe him as unwilling to go across the middle and dropping passes because he was worrying about getting hit. To put it bluntly, his nickname may as well be "Alligator Arms".
Davis has all the physical attributes you want in a receiver, but seems to be lacking the toughness needed. The last thing the Vikings need right now is player like Troy Williamson, that can't maintain focus or that shies away from contact. There's a good chance that Davis will go prior the Vikings' second round pick, but even if he doesn't, look for the Purple to draft a different wide receiver anyway.