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Since the Minneosta Vikings lost Sidney Rice to free agency, they have been hunting and pecking for a replacement. Bernard Berrian, Devin Aromashadu, Greg Childs; the Vikings just haven’t had any luck. They have a stud running back (Adrian Peterson), a young developing top of the line tight end (Kyle Rudolph), an electric play making wide receiver (Percy Harvin), and a young quarterback they believe in (Christian Ponder), but are missing that down field element to really allow this offense to take off. The Vikings think Jerome Simpson can be that piece.
He was most talked about because of his giant hands, but drop issues in school and in the offseason leading up to the draft indicated he didn’t know how to use them. Very sloppy route running was an issue, too, as was his deep speed. So, what was there to like about him? He just made plays. He’s incredibly quick and shifty in and out of his breaks, and when he got himself in position he displayed special ball skills that smaller less rangy receivers would not be able to do. The Bengals saw a guy that if he refined the route tree and used those big hands properly, that he could be a starter, but it would be a while.
The Bengals went out and signed Antonio Bryant to fill the void. Furthermore, Bryant never got healthy enough to play, so the Bengals had to resort to Plan B late in the process in 2010. Simpson? Wrong, again! Terrell Owens! Yeah, him! One would think this would be an indictment of Simpson’s skills (or lack thereof), but given the Bengals’ track record with management, his name never slipped my mind and he finally paid off in those two glorious games to finish 2010, paving the way for a starting job in 2011.
Less than five percent owned entering the season because he was set to miss the first three games and only the 19th most added player on Fleaflicker this week (http://www.fleaflicker.com/
Simpson may not do anything, but he is a significantly better dice roll than any of those guys, and when you’re playing the waiver wire game that’s exactly what you’re looking for - upside. Pick him up, and if he does what he is capable of, you’ll either fill that wide receiver/flex role you’re working on or have additional depth to utilize on the trade market. Singles don’t win titles, home runs do, and Simpson is loaded with power potential.
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