Three Vikings receivers were listed in the top 80 for 2015 in rankings compiled by Bleacher Report NFL Draft Lead Writer Matt Miller and several of his colleagues.
Miller and the staff used stats from Pro Football Focus and reviewed film before rating receivers on a scale that maxed out at 99.
The max values for hands and route running were 40 in each category, along with 10 for yards after catch. The importance of the position, in the reviewers' eyes, was good for an automatic nine points.
The evaluation ranked Stefon Diggs at 28, with a total score of 87 that was fueled by 38/40 on hands, 30/40 on route running and 10/10 on yards after catch.
Miller wrote Diggs had "a very efficient rookie season in terms of catching the ball. He dropped just two passes, according to Pro Football Focus. While that consistency was valuable to the Minnesota Vikings offense, it wasn't what stood out most. Diggs offered Teddy Bridgewater wider windows to hit because of his ability to track the ball in the air and pluck it from the air against tight coverage."
The evaluation rated Jarius Wright at 73rd with an overall score of 76 (hands: 32/40; route running: 27/40; YAC: 8/10; position value: 9/9) and Mike Wallace at 75th with an overall score of 75 (hands: 32/40; route running: 27/40; YAC: 7/10; position value: 9/9).
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Forecasting Peterson's future production
Vikings General Manager Rick Spielman was asked during his podium session at the combine last week if he's thought about life after Adrian Peterson or if it is too far down the road to consider. Peterson led the NFL with 1,485 rushing yards at age 30 in 2015.
"You're always thinking about it. At running back, you're one injury away. We'll eventually get down there," Spielman said. "I think Adrian is still a very productive running back in this league. He won the rushing title again this year. It's amazing, the stamina [he has] and the physical specimen that he still is, but at some point, everybody has to retire. I don't know when that point is. Adrian may defy the odds and play until he's 50. I don't know."
*By this benchmark, Peterson's performance last year was exceptional, but not mind-boggling: He was one of 24 running backs to break 1,000 yards at age 30 (and one of seven to rack up 1,400 yards or more). *
If he does it again at 31, the list gets halved — and halved again at 32. If he runs for 1,000 at age 33, he'll join just two other players who have ever done so: Pittsburgh Steelers John Henry Johnson, who rumbled for 1,141 yards in 1962, and Franco Harris, who went for 1,007 in 1983.
Eccher noted that John Riggins is the only player in NFL history to rush for 1,000 or more at age 34, and he and Johnson crossed the mark at age 35. Marcus Allen's 830 yards in 1996 are the most by a 36-year-old back.