04/30/2012 - A closer look at the Vikings' picks: Round 4/134 - Greg Childs, WR, 6-3, 219, Arkansas...Caught only 21 passes last year after tearing his patella tendon the year before. But is now healthy. - The Sports Xchange
Childs is probably only now recovered from a 2010 right knee injury, but he pushed himself through the 2011 season anyway, catching 21 passes for 240 yards.
By the time of the February Scouting Combine he was well enough to run the 40-yard dash in 4.52 seconds and manage a 36 1/2-inch vertical jump. But he considered his March 7 pro day a coming out when he ran 40 yards in 4.41 seconds and had a vertical jump of 41 1/2 inches.
"It was just mainly showing everybody that I was healthy again, showing I was 100 percent again,"
Childs said after the on-campus workout. The injury was to his right patella and required surgery in 2010, otherwise he probably would have been in the 2011 draft. Instead, he struggled through the 2011 season, missing only a little action.
Childs is an extraordinary target due to his unusual combination of size, speed, jumping ability, long arms (34 1/8-inch) and, finally, huge hands, (10 1/8-inch).
Release: Too big and strong for most defenders at this level to test him in press coverage. Good lateral agility to avoid press and make them pay due to good acceleration and better straight-line speed than he's often credited with possessing. Eats up the cushion, showing better agility and precision as a route-runner than most receivers of his size.
Hands: Soft, reliable hands. Shows the ability to extend and pluck outside of his frame. Can track the ball over his shoulder, though he likes to turn back to the ball when he can. Excellent concentration and good body control. Good arm length and hand strength to snatch passes high and wide, as well as slightly behind him. Capable of making tough grabs with defenders clinging to him. Good toughness to take a hit and hang on. Appears to possess a strong vertical to go along with his excellent size, though he doesn't often enough use each to his advantage. Has to do a better job of timing his leap and snatching the ball at its highest point against NFL-caliber cornerbacks.
Route running: While Childs lacks elite straight-line speed, he keeps defenders off-balance with savvy route-running. Changes gears and uses head/shoulder fakes to draw defenders. Has a quick burst to sneak downfield, especially if he feels them attempting to jump a short route. Can plant his foot in the ground and show some explosiveness out of his break to create separation. Uses his size and burst to easily gain freedom on slants, crossers and the variety of quick screens in this offense. Not often asked to run deep outs in this offense, but appears to have the balance and quick feet to successfully do so.
After the catch: Attacks the football. Doesn't wait for it to come to him, but rather goes to it, helping him build momentum to generate yardage after the catch. Is a load to bring down. Possesses good size and strength to run through arm tackles. Physical receiver who challenges defensive backs by lowering his shoulder and churning his feet. Some lateral agility to elude, though he's most effective due to his strength and surprising (for his size) acceleration. Long-strider with deceptive speed to sneak downfield for the deep ball. Good vision. Looks for teammates to help him and allows his blocks to set up rather than running past them prematurely. Good body control to tap his feet before going out of bounds.
Blocking: Takes his role as a blocker seriously. Shows good strength and effort blocking downfield, locking up the corner and working to seal his opponent from the action. Often sent in motion so he can provide a crack back block on an unsuspecting defensive end.
Intangibles: Impressed his coaching staff and teammates with his dedication in his rehabilitation from the torn patellar tendon. Refused to wear a knee brace during spring football and caught 13 passes for 210 yards and a 21-yard touchdown during three spring scrimmages. Unfortunately, appeared to be a shadow of his former self during the games that count... Good competitive fire for the position. Understands his role as a blocker in this offense and looks to help his teammates.
--By Rob Rang