Cedric James Draft Profile



At first glance, it looks like the Vikings dipped back into the offensive talent pool with their second fourth-round compensatory pick with the selection of wide receiver Cedric James. However, that may not be the case.

James' most immediate contributions could come on special teams, both in covering kicks and punts and returning kicks. Longterm? Well, James could also figure in as a cornerback or safety, much the way the Vikings developed Robert Tate for two years as a wide receiver before moving him into the starting lineup as a cover cornerback.

James could follow that path, as his receiving statistics at Texas Christian don't show the type of production to warrant a mid-round selection.

What is most important about James is to know that he is an athlete and the Vikings believe in molding athletes to their more natural position. They will attempt to discover his most natural position during his rookie year.

"A lot of coaches think that I should be playing on the defensive side of the ball," James said after being drafted. "And I am on more of the defensive side of special teams. I could see them putting me on the defensive side of the ball because I am not afraid of going down and making a tackle."

His production on the offensive side wasn't big because, he said, at TCU the offense ran the ball 75 to 80 percent of the time. But whether he ends up a receiver of a defensive back he is completely comfortable on special teams.

"Special teams is a big part of my game," he said. "That's where I kind of differentiate myself from different receivers. Going down to show people that I wasn't afraid to make the big hit as a gunner or a hit man on kickoff especially meant a lot to me. It kind of put me back on the defensive side of the ball."

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