Mid-Round WR Among Vikings Visitors

The Vikings' interest in draftable receivers is hardly a surprise, and we've uncovered another receiver that was part of the team's predraft visitors two weeks ago.

Lane College in Tennessee isn't a well-known producer of NFL talent, but by now most hardcore Vikings draftniks know about Lane's wide receiver prospect, Jacoby Jones. He was one of at least four wide receivers that were part of a mass visit of players two weeks ago at Winter Park.

Jones is expected to be a mid-round draft pick whose combination of size (6-foot-3, 210 pounds) and decent speed (4.5 seconds in the 40-yard dash) are the start of his assets.

"A terrific athlete yet raw football player, Jones has dominate on the small-school level the past two seasons," Scout.com's draft preview guide reads. "At this point, a project who must develop his entire game."

Jones caught 68 passes for 822 yards and six touchdowns as a senior. For his career, he caught 200 passes for 2,750 and 21 TDs as a four-year starter and two-time all-conference selection. Scout.com says he is an "athletic skill player with a good degree of upside. Displays a sense of timing, gets vertical and uses his solid frame to shield away opponents. Has a burst of acceleration, plays to his 40 time and displays good eye-hand coordination catching the ball. Elusive handling the ball."

His run-after-the-catch ability could be one of things that makes him so attractive to the Vikings, who run a West Coast offense that puts a premium on that talent.

As for negatives, Scout.com says Jones is a "slow route-runner who gets choppy-footed into breaks. Unnecessarily lets the pass get inside him and does too much body catching."

Some of that could be attributed to the fact that Jones didn't start playing organized football until his junior year of college. He started his college career on a track scholarship, which has come in handy with his ability to return kicks and punts as well, another position where the Vikings could use assistance.

In his final three years of college, Jones returned 91 kickoffs for a 21.3-yard average and four touchdowns. During that same time span as a punt returner, he brought back 49 punts for an 11.2-yard average and one touchdown. All combined, he averaged 193 all-purpose yards per game in 2005 and 2006.


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