Notes: Born RaTavious Anton Biddle, 2/27/83, in Decatur, Ala. Son of Angela Biddle. Attended Decatur High School, playing football for head coach Jere Adcock. Earned Class 6A All-State and All-Region honors as a senior, helping Decatur High to a 10-2 record, regional championship and the second round of the playoffs. Caught five passes for 87 yards, including a 53-yard touchdown reception in 2001 Alabama-Mississippi All-Star Game in Mobile, Ala. As a senior, caught 29 passes for 553 yards and eight touchdowns and also returned one punt 64 yards for a score. Career statistics included 73 pass receptions for 1,376 yards (18.9 avg.) with three punt returns and five kickoff returns for touchdowns. Earned four letters in football, basketball and track, where he was state champion in the long jump (23 feet, 10 inches).
College: Redshirted in 2001. Played in all 13 games, starting one at flanker, in 2002; had 14 catches for 282 yards (20.1 avg.) and one touchdown and gained 13 yards on a reverse and made two tackles on special teams. Also earned All-American honors at the 2002 NCAA Outdoor Championships in track, placing sixth as a member of the 4-by-100-meter relay team. Ran the third leg of the school record-holding relay team (39.56 seconds). Also recorded indoor personal bests of 6.77 in the 60 meters, 22.08 in the 200 meters and 23-2 in the long jump, with outdoor personal bests of 10.65 100 meters and 22.12 200 meters. Played in all 13 games in 2003, catching 26-460-4 (17.7 avg.); also recorded one tackle and forced a fumble on special teams. In 2004, appeared in all 11 games, starting seven, as he caught 15-283-1 (18.9 avg.) with four tackles on special teams. Earned All-SEC honorable mention in 2005 as he started 10 tames, catching 35-487-2 (13.9 avg.). In 48 games at Ole Miss, Biddle started 18 times and caught 90-1,512-8 (16.8 avg.), rushed 10-54 and returned kickoffs 8-142 (17.8 avg.) with 10 tackles on special teams and one forced fumble. Criminal justice major.
Pre-Draft: Reportedly posted a 4.25-second 40-yard dash…3.98 20-yard shuttle…6.76 three-cone drill…40 ½-inch vertical jump…10-8 broad jump…30 7/8-inch arm length…8 5/8-inch hands.
Pro: Undrafted coming out of college, Biddle originally signed as a rookie free agent with the Carolina Panthers following the 2006 NFL Draft, receiving a $7,000 signing bonus. Slowed by a shoulder injury in training camp, he was waived on the final roster cuts but re-signed to the Panthers practice squad in '06. Promoted to the active roster in late November, he caught three passes for 37 yards (12.3 avg.) as a rookie. He attracted national attention after catching two passes for 108 yards and two touchdowns in a preseason game against the New York Giants, but a lost fumble in subsequent preseason action led to his release on the final roster cuts in 2007. Claimed on waivers by the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, he was released and then re-signed to their practice squad, where he spent the 2007 season.
He signed a futures contract for 2008 with the Bucs but was released following an undisclosed injury during minicamp that summer. Signed by the Detroit Lions in late July, he was waived/injured by the Lions during training camp and later released with an injury settlement. He was signed to the practice squad of the New York Giants in Sept. 2008. On Sept. 24, Biddle was promoted to the active roster after Plaxico Burress was suspended for one game. He was waived and re-signed to the practice squad the following week. He signed a futures contract and went to training camp with the Giants in 2009.
However, Biddle was shot two times, once in the leg and the other in his hand in his hometown of Decatur, Ala. on Jan. 18, 2009 while in his vehicle outside of his mother's apartment building. His injuries were non-life threatening. Police said there was no evidence Biddle provoked or caused the shooting. He failed to make the team with the Giants last summer.
Biddle played for the Florida Tuskers of the United Football League in 2009, catching 30 passes for 525 yards and two touchdowns.
He worked out for the Vikings on Dec. 1, 2009, and was subsequently signed to a futures contract on Jan. 22, 2010.
Positives: Top-end speed. A natural athlete with a lean (5.4 percent body fat) build. Has innate quickness, balance, suddenness and sustained speed that cannot be taught. Darting and elusive in the open field with pull-away speed. Good quickness into and out of his breaks. Can get open and defeat man-to-man coverage. Has a second gear and can run by slower defenders. Adjusts to the ball well and can make some exceptional catches. Excellent leaping ability. Will compete for the ball in traffic.
Negatives: Lacks bulk and size against more physical cornerbacks at the line of scrimmage. Lacks polish and refined technique as a route runner. Tends to body catch and let the ball come into his body and will drop some seemingly easy passes. Concerns about durability.
Summary: Biddle is an interesting prospect who could surprise some people if he stays healthy and puts together a solid training camp. He has the tools to be an effective player in a situational role. He could legitimately challenge for a spot as the No. 5 receiver.
Kevin Brown has been providing personnel analysis and writing about the Vikings for more than 20 years with Viking Update. Follow Viking Update on Twitter and discuss this story on our subscriber message board.
Scout's Notebook Archive:
WR Ray Small
CB Marcus Sherels
OL Thomas Austin
OT Patrick Brown
WR Marko Mitchell
FB Ryan D'Imperio
TE Mickey Shuler
RB Ryan Moats
CB Chris Cook
RB Toby Gerhart
DE Everson Griffen
OG Chris DeGeare
LB Nate Triplett
CB Lito Sheppard
DE Mike Montgomery
DT Jimmy Kennedy
RB Albert Young
K Rhys Lloyd