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Production Increase From Wide Receivers In 2013

Over the next two weeks we'll take a position-by-position look at the performance and production of the Vikings roster in 2013.

The arrow is pointing up for the Vikings wide receivers. Heading into the 2013 season, the Vikings wide receiver group underwent a bit of a facelift. All the offseason work that went into improving this position on the roster produced the desired effect.

The Vikings turned to free agency to make the first significant change to the position last year, nabbing productive veteran Greg Jennings from the Green Bay Packers to add experience and leadership to the position. Jennings responded immediately, hauling in 68 receptions, the most in a season for him since 2010, and scoring four times while playing in 15 of 16 games. He was also a steadying influence off the field for what is otherwise a young group of receivers that includes rookie Cordarrelle Patterson and second-year player Jarius Wright.

Patterson represented the second most influential change at the position in 2013. He was selected by the Vikings with the 29th overall pick in the draft and made an immediate impact as a returner while steadily progressing as a receiver. When all was said and done and after Patterson came on strong at the end of the season, the dynamic rookie finished the season with 45 receptions for 469 yards and four touchdown in 16 games with six starts.

In total for the season, the Vikings receivers finished with 192 receptions for 2,466 yards with a per-catch average of 12.8 yards and 12 touchdowns. That production in comparison to 2012 production is favorable and is illustrated in the chart below.

Can this group improve once again heading into 2014? Odds are the answer is yes with Patterson and Wright staring at the primes of their careers, Jennings still clearly capable of putting up big numbers and a few developmental prospects in Rodney Smith and Adam Thielen on the roster. In addition, Vikings GM Rick Spielman insists on adding talent to the roster regardless of what the status quo is at a position, so if the opportunity to add another playmaker at wide receiver presents itself, don't be surprised to see the Vikings jump at it.

No matter how you slice it, the arrow is indeed pointing up for the Vikings wide receivers.

On the Roster
Greg Jennings:
68 receptions for 804 yards and 4 touchdowns in 15 games (15 starts)
Jerome Simpson: 48 receptions for 726 yards and 1 touchdown in 16 games (8 starts)
Cordarrelle Patterson: 45 receptions for 469 yards and 4 touchdowns in 16 games (6 starts)
Jarius Wright: 26 receptions for 434 yards and 3 touchdowns in 16 games (3 starts)
Joe Webb: 5 receptions for 33 yards and no touchdowns in 16 games (1 starts)
Rodney Smith:No stats in 4 games (0 starts)
Greg Childs:Spent season on Reserve list
Adam Thielen:Practice Squad

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