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Mike Zimmer has high praise for Jarius Wright

Following the Minnesota Vikings’ win over the Atlanta Falcons on Sunday, Stefon Diggs called fellow receiver Jarius Wright, “Mr. Third Down.” Wright made a key third down catch during the Vikings’ go-ahead 15-play drive.

Wright only has 14 receptions this year, but his catches have come in big situations. He’s been targeted four times on third-and-short this season and come up with first downs each time. Overall, 11 of his 14 receptions have turned into first downs and he’s scored touchdowns on both catches inside the red zone.

The last two years haven’t been ideal for Wright as his role diminished from a top target in 2014 with 42 catches to having almost no role at all last year. He quipped during training camp that people who suggested he might lose his job “don’t know football.”

He was right, it seems. Wright has become part of a rotating group at the No. 3 receiver spot with Michael Floyd and Laquon Treadwell.

Head coach Mike Zimmer talked at length Monday about Wright’s value to the team.

“Well, first thing about Jarius is, he’s a very good person that works his rear end off each and every week,” Zimmer said. “He’s got good speed, he’s got good quickness, catches the ball good. He’s a tough competitor.”

Speaking of catching the ball, over the past four seasons, Wright has caught 69.2% of passes in his direction.

“Whenever he gets the opportunity to go in, he knows all the receiver positions if he needs to be. He’s just a guy that loves to go out there and get a chance to play and when he does, he usually makes a play.”

  • Cman

    I’m actually good with the Vikes walking away from Floyd and Treadwell and keeping Wright as the 3rd WR.

    I also think Coley should be given a chance on kickoff returns. I like Sherels, but miss the kickoff production of Patterson.

    • Al Ashby

      What in the world are u smoking?

      • Cman

        Apparently not as strong as you are smoking if you are implying that Treadwell and Floyd are doing more for this team than Wright is.

        • cka2nd

          Unless they can trade Treadwell for another former first round pick who hasn’t worked out for their team, I doubt the Vikes will cut ties with a guy still working on his rookie contract. Floyd will probably attract some more interest this coming off-season, but I certainly wouldn’t mind keeping him if we can.

          • Cman

            I’m sure Floyd would welcome coming back here as he is good friends with Rudolph and is a Minnesota native. However, unless the Vikes view it as him missing the first 4 games to suspension, and the emergence of Thielen and Diggs to his modest numbers and playing time, I just don’t see him returning.

            Wright has come up big for this team when his number was called. I really can’t see how they view Floyd and Treadwell above Wright at this point. I could certainly be wrong on that, but you have to go with the guys who are producing.

            To see where Thielen and Diggs came from compared to where Treadwell came from, he has to be looked at as a huge letdown at this point imo.

        • Malcolm Hinton

          Treadwell is a key cog in this offense as a blocking receiver. You can not deny his impact there.

          • Thank you, I was going to say the same thing, there had been some recent plays where Laqoun was blocking his guy for whoever was running and doing a great job from what I saw, he is under appreciated because he is not fantasy relevant but hopefully he grows in time to a better option.

    • DukieBrownJunior .

      Packer fan?

      • Cman

        Does it sound like I am a Packer fan? What has Treadwell or Floyd done for the Vikes? Nothing.

    • TeslaQuake

      I think Floyd with more time has a chance to be good for us, but I agree that Treadwell isn’t producing as well as he should for where we got him. I have hope he can get better, but part of that is just how we play, and how good Diggs, Rudolph and Thielen are playing.

      • Cman

        Exactly.

        • Andrew Stead

          With the way 1st Ks are structured, it doesn’t make sense to cut them. Treadwell hasn’t done much, but there is a low chance he improve and in the meantime there is no upside in paying him not to play. Floyd is a UFA and has been a healthy scratch–that looks like writing on the wall.

          • Gordon Guffey

            Agree ~

            Many of player has taken his full rookie contract ((( 4 or 5 years ))) before becoming a pro football player instead of a college player ~ Its not uncommon ~

            On the other hand you have guys like Floyd who seem to have gone from a very high place to not even being able to take the Vikings #3 WR job away from Treadwell and Wright ~ Pro Football is a funny business ~

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    • wdnemesis

      It was a money thing with CP. He did not fit into the offensive scheme the Vikings wanted to have. He is the best kick returner I have seen play though. He would of been payed primarily as a special teamer.

  • Theguds

    I like Jarius and I’m glad he’s still on the roster. He contributes, which isn’t easy to do with such a talented receiving core.

  • Theguds

    Terrible what happened on MNF tonight. Hope Ryan Shazier is alright. Hell of a Linebacker.

  • DJ Tallchief

    Jarius is a great person. Essentially, his snaps were given to Thielen because they wanted Adam out there. Many guys would get annoyed and want out as they watch another guy play his position. JW kept quiet. PEOPLE LOVE THE PERSON WHO STAYS QUIET AND DEAL WITH IT. It’s extremely tough to do though. Hats off to him. I’d have been quietly asking for a trade.

    • TeslaQuake

      Thielen can play more spots based on his size and speed combination, but Wright always seems to come up with big plays in key situations so I am really glad both of them are on the team.

  • DJ Tallchief

    Wright should return kicks. Sherels doesn’t have the speed to get through the wedge or that long, pull away speed, either. Wright runs 4.4, Sherels a 4.6

    • Rod Morgan

      that is simply not true..dont know why people these days create their own alternate facts… Sherels ran a 4.37 40… it only takes a few seconds to confirm.. not big but has always been fast and quick.

      • DJ Tallchief

        So you’re telling me that he’s faster than Jarius Wright (4.47), Adrian Peterson in his prime (4.44) and Cordarrelle Patterson (4.42)? You seem to think that if something is written somewhere than that must be truth. I remember Toby Gerhart was supposedly going to be a fullback in the NFL. He was listed at 237. Ran a faster than expected 40 time and decided he wanted to be a tailback. A week later, He’s listed at 222. Our former great NT Pat Williams was always listed at 317. Yet Troublemaker Childress arrives & puts him on the pup list because he was 5 lbs heavier than the weight he was allowed to be at, 330. 330? What happened to 317? I’ve seen Adam thielen listed at 6’3 before. Yet last year, he’s standing next to the 6’2 Patterson and is a little shorter. (Who cares because the guy can play?!). My point is that people’s Heights and weights are played with all the time. So are their listed speeds. I know you’re not so naive to think that because someone said ex-player runs this fast or is this height or weight, you take it as gospel?

        • Rod Morgan

          wow… he ran a documented 4.37… not a 4.6… thats a fact..rationalize all you want ..respect factual data.. lots of words to cover up for ..oops I didn’t do any research and just made assumptions based on…nothing

          • DJ Tallchief

            Who “documented” it? I do my research, Chief. Just because somebody wrote that speed down doesn’t mean that’s what it actually is. The proof is in the pudding. I’ve been around football for 40 years. Played, coached , etc… There’s nothing about Marcus sherels that is anything beneath 4.5 speed. That’s no slight against him because he’s a very good PR. Just stop being naive and believing everything you hear or read.

          • Rod Morgan

            Chief.. nice..can I use that as an official title? ..lots of naive people have been around football their entire lives..I wouldn’t use that as plus when debating people about factual data… “Who “documented” it?”.. pro-day results in March of 2010… if you don’t believe scouting data.then I guess the entire field of analytics is just using made up garbage and should all probably check in with you instead ..they could take your 40 years of being around football impressions as factual data instead…..seems reasonable.

          • Theguds

            I believe at the combine, because they are dealing with hundredths of seconds, there is censor for when the player crosses the line, not a human pressing a button. At pro days I don’t believe this is the case which I suspect is why scouts had varying results for Everson Griffen. Or I guess it could be possible that they do have the same technology and he just ran faster times. Either way I’m all for science and data and as a fan all I have is what is recorded and I so Marcus Sherels damn fast!

          • Steve Anderson

            I tend to agree DJ. 40 times are all over the place, depending on hand-held stopwatch, auto-timing, even variability with the athlete, etc. There is a reason that the pro scouts themselves do not trust 40 times unless they did it personally. But, even more important than what he ran years ago is what he can run today and how fast he runs in actual games compared to shorts and shoes.

          • DJ Tallchief

            absolutely. And add to the fact that he’s about 30 now. That’s supposed 40 time was in 2010. Also, some guys can leg out an impressive 40 time in shorts but actual football speed is different. I see a quick guy and Marcus sherels but not one with the speed to pull away. Just was brainstorming on Jarius Wright and how I think his talent could be used to further help this team. Because he hasn’t been used much and still has a lot of life in those legs.

          • Rod Morgan

            the nextgen stat was from last season… so his game speed is top of the line…he’s not good as a DB because he is 5’10” 175… his Kick off return average is 26 yards/return which is elite… his coach has him as the number one return man… Wright has been used for both punt and kick returns in pre-season since being drafted… face facts… ALL the data points to Sherels as being both “football fast” AND being our best kickoff return guy… data is real… opinions are …not..

          • DJ Tallchief

            And all I’m saying is, he has average speed to the naked eye. One huge factor in KR is speed to get through the wedge and then speed to pull away. He’s got 46 KR prior to this year. I’m guessing over 60 or so now. I think he has 4-5 over 40 yards, no TDs. (Had a 109 yarder in preseason scrubs, which doesn’t count).

            I’ve never seen any eye opening burst from him. Short area quickness (great for PR), yes. The guy he backed up, Percy Harvin, was gone once he hit the open field. (Listed speed, 4.41 to Sherels’ 4.38). I’m aware of next gen stats, combines, etc… Off field issues aside, Harvin or Sherels as your KR?

            Sherels, 30 now, LOOKS, to my eye, a step slower. I’d simply give Wright a shot. It’d keep sherels fresher for his PR, too. I think both is too much for him right now

          • Theguds

            NFL draft scout has Wright at 4.29, 4.39, 4.5. Sounds to me Wright could handle the job with that speed. Comes down to his vision and reliability handling the ball. Wright’s trustworthy with the ball. We know he can catch.

          • Rod Morgan

            You guys are killing me… first off yes..you always have to be wary of stories about 40 times.. in this case it is an officially recorded time from his pro day doing combine drills.. if you still just want to ignore 40 times..despite using 40 times of other players to make your points… how about the NFL nextgen stats… they measure actual top speeds in MPH of players on the field during game play… Sherels was clocked at 21.17 MPH on sept30 2016.. that speed would put him tied for 11th fastest play in 2017 tied with plays by T.Hill and E. Mcguire. (Hill also had a play that was faster)….although it was outside the top 20 plays in 2016…..interestingly both Diggs and Rhodes hit 22 MPH and both were in the top 5 in 2017 along with T. Hill, T. Hill and D. Jackson… Science > opinion… every time

          • Steve Anderson

            Well, the nextgen stats are actually very pertinent. Good information. With that type of speed, I am a little surprised that he has not been able to get on the field more as a DB. Slow hips?

          • Theguds

            Official combine times are the most reliable not pro day. I looked up Everson Griffen, from his pro day some scouts say he ran a 4.46. His official time at the combine was 4.6. In fact, quickly googling him shows him at 4.46. Combine has the technology for the most accurate time.

          • Theguds

            That said I’m getting Sherels at 4.37 too.

          • DJ Tallchief

            I saw where he’s listed at 4.37. 6-7 years ago when he was trying to make the team, I thought, there’s no way he’s a 4.37. He made a game saving INT in a preseason game at the old dome. Looked like your classic pick 6 off an out route but he was caught by the QB on the wide side of the field. Posted times, as you and others mentioned, aren’t always spot on. I see 4.37 on paper but MAYBE 4.5 on the field. JMHO

          • Theguds

            Agree. Game speed and combine/pro day speed can be different. I’ve heard coaches talk about this. But you are citing one example and the body is complex and there may be reasons why he was unable to reach his peak speed, either mentally or physically. I’m sure there exists examples where he does reach his peak speed.

            But with that said, I have no idea what Sherels is running these days and he may have lost step…who knows… Good debate though I love talking 40 times.

          • DJ Tallchief

            Next gen stats? Yeah, I’ve seen those. They said Thielen ran like 20.58 mph or so on the catch and run TD vs. LA. Rhodes and Diggs at 22 mph is surprising cuz they’re all listed at 4.4. IDK if the 1 mph slower than Diggs and Rhodes for Sherels comes out to 4.5 40 speed though. He’s 30 now, too. Alot older in football years than the aforementioned guys. Mileage could be draining him some. He looks a tad slower this year, to me.

          • Theguds

            Websites that record combine data seem to all say Sherels ran a 4.37. I haven’t seen one 4.6 recorded for sherels.

      • DJ Tallchief

        Jerrick McKinnon combine times; 4.35, 4.38. you’re saying Sherels is just as fast? I looked up other 40 times as well. Some of what you see listed doesn’t add up to what you see running. Because Mackenzie Alexander, Waynes, Diggs, Thielen and Dalvin Cook, just to name a few, are clearly faster than Marcus sherels. At the end of the day, I don’t care because Sherels is a good PR, just not fast enough for KR.

        • Rod Morgan

          ” Because Mackenzie Alexander, Waynes, Diggs, Thielen and Dalvin Cook, just to name a few, are clearly faster than Marcus shekels.”.. OK… you just accept your opinions as factual.. Ill stick with reality.. yes Sherels is faster than several of those players.. not sure what you’re watching..but its not reality…also Sherels has 25.9 yards per KR over his career..

          • DJ Tallchief

            Ok, champ. You stick to believing what anyone tells you. I’ll stick to proof. One of those Returns on Sunday against the Falcons, Sherels got to the 30. Didn’t have the speed to get through that wedge and get up the sideline. Patterson easily gets thru and probably scores. But Sherels’ written time is half a second faster than Patterson’s so you disagree. And almost a second faster than Peterson! Lol. Ok. Have a great day, boss.

          • Rod Morgan

            Champ and Boss.. can I use those as well?… stick to Proof??? sadly your view of reality is the norm..tough to be a scientist these days…

          • DJ Tallchief

            Chief, boss, champ? If you want to use them, feel free. I wouldn’t be offended. 🙂

            Tell the average, REALISTIC Viking fan that Sherels is faster than AP and CP and tell me how that goes. Just text messaged a group of my Vikings fan friends and the “Lols” are endless. We’re all wrong though. Cuz it’s written that Sherels is faster. Ok.

            Skol!

    • Rod Morgan

      interesting that you believe all the other 40 times but dismiss the one time you don’t like… I deal with this type of conformational bias every day.. its fascinating .. and damaging…

      • DJ Tallchief

        I’m throwing them all out. I listed their times because that’s what you’re going off of. I’m going off of what I see. Sherels is quick. Perfect for maybe slot CB and definitely PR. He doesn’t have that long, pull away speed like Patterson and some others though, from what I see. Ultimately, if he’s gonna be a solid PR like he has been, I’m good with it and go Vikes. More speed needed for KR though.

        • Rod Morgan

          OK…whatever… you do realize it was you who used 40 times to illustrate how slow Sherels is… I merely interjected because the times you listed were simply factually wrong… you have a belief… that belief is not backed up by factual data..so you altered the data to fit your belief… when called out on it..you argue that no data is real, none of it can be believed and therefore your belief is still intact… just to clarify…

          • DJ Tallchief

            Yeah. I said Marcus is a 4.6 cuz that’s what I see. 4.37. Yeah, it’s written, but I don’t see it.

            “No data is real”. Did I say that? Nah. I said I don’t believe EVERYTHING that is said or written because I know people make stuff up.

  • SCaB

    Jarius has been one of my favorite Vikings for several years. Dependable, team-oriented, and he comes up big when it counts. I’m happy he’s getting another chance to prove his value to the team.

  • Klark Kent

    I have always appreciated his contribution to the Vikings whenever hes been given a chance. Always makes a positive play. Go Vikings!

  • Gordon Guffey

    Well anyone who read my posts when all the talking heads were writing about cutting Wright to save 3+ million know how I have felt about this young man and many probably knew how I have felt about him going back to his first or second year ~ Outstanding talent who can help a team in so many ways ~

    He is a real team player who could do so much more given more playing time ~ I believe he should be the first man off the bench when Diggs is banged up until someone can show they can out play him ~ Its not like he hasn’t produced when he has been on the field ~ Plus he has shown over and over he can get open for the deep balls also ~

  • Bob T.

    My 2 cents on Jarius, Michael and Laquan. I had the hook out for the 28 year old Wright, at the beginning of the season. Actually got a bit nasty. I felt he should be the KR. Mostly to warrant his wages, but also to possibly be productive. I was wrong. Mr. Third down. I like it. I thought Floyd would have been better, and was a big backer. I think he is still worthy of the 53,until Coley replaces him. Treadwell, I believe, will get there. I think he is a good blocker and the routes are getting better. I wanted Doctson but Treadwell is getting there and could surpass with the guidance he is getting right now. Nice that Vikings can work on depth.





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