As we get closer and closer to the NFL Draft, in what I’ve explained is my favorite time of year (Free agency/The draft) essentially an obnoxious amount of times by now, I’ve made no secret of my affinity for Ohio State wide receiver/running back/kick returning hybrid Curtis Samuel. I even wrote an article about it. Now, while a lot of that was predicated on the idea that the Vikings perhaps had amassed more needs than any one draft could fulfill (Let alone a draft without a first round pick) that isn’t the sole reason why. Which is important considering some of the moves the Vikings have made in the past couple weeks in eliminating a lot of those needs. I wrote an article titled “The Vikings Need to Draft Curtis Samuel…” to show my support for the speedster, too.
So, imagine my surprise when I was doing my typical Friday morning online scum-baggery. I decided to make an account on KFAN.com’s ‘Rube Chat’ because, if you haven’t noticed, I am a rube. Also, because we are working with KFAN.com/KFAN’s AJ Mansour and so I had noticed that we were getting some click overs from their message board. There I noticed an article by Alexander Shun, who does great work, regarding a visit that the Vikings had with Curtis Samuel earlier this week! What?!?! How did I miss this?!? Shun’s source was NFL.com’s Ian Rapoport, who said:
— Ian Rapoport (@RapSheet) April 4, 2017
Wow. That’s pretty exciting!
Now, my reasoning for being interested in Samuel is a few-fold. He’s got game-changing speed (Apparently being as fast, or faster than 96% of other receivers in this year’s draft, which is saying something) and if the Vikings offense is lacking anything, it’s that level of speed. Really, the Vikings offense is in dire need of a play-maker and that need has driven a lot of my articles, especially as of late. It’s one of the main reasons that I believe that Peterson’s chances of returning to the Vikings increase by the day, and why some believe that the Vikings will take a chance on running back Joe Mixon of Oklahoma, despite multiple teams saying that they won’t draft him at all (Thanks to an awful punch to the face that left a woman pretty severely injured at a bar back in 2014).
Outside of that need for a playmaker the Vikings have needs at running back (Yes, still), wide receiver and in the kick return game. Considering the fact that Samuel can play all three positions and it’s not hard to see why the Vikings would at least kick the tires on a player who is expected to be available when the Vikings utilize their first pick at number 48 in the second round (After trading their first round pick to the Philadelphia Eagles last season to acquire quarterback Sam Bradford). Now, I posted Samuel’s Mockdraftable.com measurable chart yesterday, but considering my love for both Samuel (As a player) and MockDraftable.com (Sexually), I figured I’d post it again…
The way these graft’s work is essentially each point is a different drill, and each % represents where they stack up against other players in their draft class. So, the higher the percentage the better they are at that specific thing, relatively. Meaning that in Samuel’s case, he is (Again) as fast or faster than 96% of other players at the wide receiver position (As he’s listed as a receiver there, despite his ability to play running back as well).
The more darkness the better and you can click through on the bottom of the above (Confusing, much?) to see a data table of his measurables as well as who he compares to in the league. The top name that comes to mind is Golden Tate, who is an increasingly irritating thorn in the Vikings side and Ken-Yon Rambo, who I’ve never heard of but immediately love, solely based on his name. So, while each team has the ability to meet with up to 30 players before the draft, this is still pretty exciting information to/for me and perhaps some of you, who hadn’t heard this yet. That’s right, www.purplePTSD.com, “Breaking News Three Days Late since 2015!”.
So, while it still doesn’t mean anything concrete, it does increase the odds that the Vikings will add Samuel at the end of the month. That’s more than I need to get excited, especially as I’ve grown more and more weary of the wide receivers that the Vikings have signed, especially over the course of the last decade. I wrote a much maligned piece about the Vikings tendency to sign wide receivers from the SEC, most of which have ended up being complete, unmitigated disasters. Outside of Stefon Diggs (Fifth round, of Maryland) and Adam Thielen (Undrafted, of Minnesota State-Mankato) the Vikings really haven’t done a great job of adding receiving talent since trading away Randy Moss after the 2004 season. I’ve always found that surprising considering the connections, personally, that Vikings general Manager Rick Spielman has to Ohio State, but for whatever reason the Vikes really do like receivers that run south of the Mason-Dixon line, especially ones from South Carolina. Really, the best receiver of the bunch was Percy Harvin, who is the (Now former) NFL Player that Samuel gets compared to most often, so take that for what it’s worth. For the sake of that argument, here’s Harvin’s MockDraftable.com stats:
Whatever your thoughts on that, the fact that the Vikings have at this point met with Samuel shows that perhaps they’ve realized the error of their ways after taking Treadwell last season, a player who was thought to be the most “Pro-Ready receiver in the draft” (Isn’t that what people said about Christian Ponder, as well? Minus the receiver part? That’s one of many similarities between those picks) but ended up only knowing how to run (Reportedly) four different route trees. Yikes. So, stay tuned as the Vikings get closer to draft day, as things change rapidly this time of year. Hopefully their interest in Samuel isn’t one of those things, however!