The Vikings snagged Arkansas WR Jarius Wright with the 118th overall selection in round 4. The 5’10, 182 pounder set the Arkansas single season record with 63 grabs in 2011 and also holds the school’s all-time mark for receptions with 165. With dynamite burst and quickness, he projects as a slot man with Minnesota.
The Panthers have signed WR Jarius Wright. Although never a real fantasy factor in Minnesota, Wright sports a strong 66.5% career catch rate and 13.3 yards per catch. He's also familiar with OC Norv Turner's offense, having spent 3 years in it in Minnesota. Wright will battle for snaps and targets with Torrey Smith and Curtis Samuel behind Devin Funchess.
Vikings WR Jarius Wright is expected to miss "a game or 2" with a hand injury suffered last week, according to NFL Network's Ian Rapoport. Wright played 60% of Minnesota's offensive snaps in the first 3 games, totaling 5 catches on 9 targets for 72 yards. With WR Charles Johnson (ribs) looking iffy for Week 4, the Vikings are hurting at WR. Note that WR Adam Thielen has actually played the 4th most snaps so far -- 14 more than WR Cordarrelle Patterson.
Vikings WR Jarius Wright will open training camp as the team's slot receiver. “The best things that Jarius did were when he was in the slot,” HC Mike Zimmer said. “We keep working him outside, but we know he has big value for us in the slot as well.” Wright ran just 23.5% of his routes from the slot last season but hauled in 8 of 10 targets for 130 yards. He's been incredibly efficient no matter where he's lined up over the past 3 years, posting a 63.8% catch rate and 14.8 yards per reception. Still, Wright will be tough to trust in fantasy lineups as the 3rd or 4th pass-catching option in an offense that will funnel through RB Adrian Peterson. The other takeaway here is that WR Cordarrelle Patterson is sitting 4th on the depth chart. He won't be a fantasy factor as long as he's in that role.
The Vikings' official website calls WR Jarius Wright the offensive star of the 1st week of training camp. "Wright is diminutive, but he’s also fast enough and physical enough to play on the outside if needed," insider Mike Wobschall writes. "The Vikings can also get Wright the ball quickly while in space, similar to what they did with [Percy] Harvin many times." Wright finished his 2012 rookie campaign with just 22 catches. But they all came over the season's final 7 games. He averaged a healthy 14.1 yards per catch. Although undersized at 5'10 and 180 pounds, Wright has an intriguing skill set. It's just tough to imagine him emerging as a fantasy factor this year as he fights for targets with Greg Jennings, Cordarrelle Patterson, Jerome Simpson and Kyle Rudolph on a run-first offense.
Vikings insider Dan Wiederer cautions not to “sleep on” 2nd-year WR Jarius Wright. The 4th-round pick was inactive for the first 9 games of last season, yet he caught Minnesota’s 2 longest pass plays (54 and 65-yarders). He finished with 22 grabs for 310 yards and 2 TDs. Heading into 2013, it’s tough to forecast anything favorable. He plays on a run-first offense, and his QB is among the least proven league-wide. Plus, he’s no higher than 4th in the pecking order for targets. Still, Wright might enter the radar in return yardage leagues, as he’ll compete with DB Marcus Sherels for special teams playing time. File Wright's name away as a late-round flier in those formats.
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