Vikings predraft roster analysis, Day 5: Wide receivers
Rice broke through in a big way last season, posting 83 catches for 1,312 yards and eight touchdowns. He runs well for his size (6-4, 202) and had a lot of favorable matchups, thanks to the first-round pick the Vikings spent on Harvin to balance the perimeter speed of Berrian. Harvin (5-11, 184) isn't a polished route runner yet, but he's a natural athlete who is so quick and explosive that defenses have to worry about him going the distance every time he touches the ball. At age 29, Berrian (6-1, 185) remains a weapon when he's not nicked up, but his career-low 11.2-yard average per catch last season shows his days as a deep threat may be numbered. His total compensation remains reasonable this season ($3.8 million) and next ($4 million) before skyrocketing to $7 million in 2012. Lewis, 30, got a $25,000 signing bonus and $25,000 workout bonus to re-sign for one year after totaling eight catches last season. Johnson was a sixth-round pick in 2008 who has spent the past two years trying to bulk up, appearing in six games and making one catch. Biddle has kicked around for five years, is 27 and hasn't appeared in an NFL game since 2006.
ONE SCOUT'S TAKE
"The speed with Harvin stands out on you, and he's bigger than you think -- bigger and stronger than you actually think. I think that was what was impressive to me, the ability to break some tackles and make some plays in the open field. ... You could see (Rice's) athletic ability going up, high-pointing the ball, making some grabs. You say, ‘Well, you just can't coach that kind of stuff.' Obviously, the connection with Brett (Favre) was there and it just took off."
-- NFC pro scout
The Vikings have been putting out signals they're not particularly interested in receivers, and why would they be? They have a true No. 1 in Rice, a complementary speed threat in Berrian and an all-around weapon in Harvin who should only get better. Any help here probably would come in the late rounds.
MEL KIPER'S TOP FIVE
Dez Bryant, Oklahoma State (6-2, 215)
Demaryius Thomas, Georgia Tech (6-3, 229)
Arrelious Benn, Illinois (6-2, 220)
Jordan Shipley, Texas (6-0, 190)
Eric Decker, Minnesota (6-2, 215)