Draft in-depth: WR Greg Childs

Greg Childs

Find out about the college and high school careers of new Vikings WR Greg Childs, including his long recovery from a knee injury.

GREGORY "Greg" CHILDS
Wide Receiver
University of Arkansas Razorbacks
#85
6:03.1-219
Warren, Arkansas
Warren High School

OVERVIEW

It was a hard-fought, long battle for this once coveted draft prospect during his recovery period from a 2010 knee injury that cut short his banner junior campaign in 2010. The coaching staff felt that any production they received from Childs as a senior would be a bonus, as it generally takes at least a full season for a player to regain form after such an injury.

When Childs was injured on October 30th, 2010 vs. Vanderbilt, the coaches knew immediately that the receiver would do whatever he could to speed up his recovery and get back to the gridiron. Still, he raised some eyebrows on April 1st, 2011, when he stepped out onto the practice field without a brace on his right knee. The senior stepped out wide and took part in a few one-on-one drills. He didn't last long, admitting he was still taking things slowly in his recovery from a torn patella tendon. But it was a good sign for the Razorbacks.

"Whatever timeline they put on him he'll beat," Arkansas receivers coach Kris Cinkovich said after that practice. "And he has. He'll come back better. "He'll take the adversity. … He's going to make a better deal out of it because that's what winners do." Arkansas was happy to see Childs back on the field this spring even though it was still in a limited capacity.

In a way, Childs' injury also helped the Razorbacks remain loaded at receiver in 2011. The junior was intending on leaving Arkansas after his junior season to enter the 2011 NFL Draft, but those plans, however, were put on hold because of the injury. The six-month-to-a-year timeline for recovery wouldn't allow Childs to be healthy for the pre-draft process.

"There would've been a decision to make," Childs said about the NFL possibility if he had stayed healthy. "I would've had to really sit down and talk to my parents, talk to coach Petrino, and things like that. I mean, that's any decision somebody would make if they were feeling good about their junior year or whatever. "But since I got hurt, that wasn't a decision I had to make. I probably could've done something at the (NFL) Combine or whatever, but there was no sense to rush it."

After a productive, injury-shortened junior season, Childs was viewed as an ascending, possible "Day One" draft prospect, given his size and leaping ability. However, the senior appeared not fully recovered from injury during 2011 August camp, as his return to the practice field appeared to hit a small speed bump during Arkansas' first day of practice.

The Razorbacks' receiver dropped several passes and appeared to be limping on his way back to the huddle after running several routes. The struggles were enough to raise the concern of Arkansas coach Bobby Petrino afterward. Childs was the Razorbacks' leading receiver with 46 catches for 659 yards and six touchdowns when he was injured in 2010. He was cleared to return to workouts in May, 2011, but admitted to some hesitation during the Razorbacks' first practice on the school's intramural fields.

Insisting he was ready to play, Childs suited up for the 2011 season opener vs. Missouri State, be he got off to a slow start, including missed the Troy contest following the death of his grandmother in September and was slow to regain his form. With Jarius Wright and Joe Adams taking center stage for the Razorbacks offense as the starting receivers, Childs was limited to just three starts as a third receiver, finishing sixth on the team with 21 receptions for 240 yards (11.43 ypc) and no touchdowns for his final season.

Professional scouts still needed to have answers to their medical question before they could provide their final draft analysis, and Childs body of work in 2011 did not provide those answers. That is, until he arrived at the 2012 NFL Scouting Combine. Often compared to the New York Giants' Hakeem Nicks, thanks to his speed, size and ball control going up and elevating for the catch, the receiver was ready to put on a show.

Childs impressed during agility tests, as his 4.53-second clocking in the 40-yard dash was one of the fastest of the receivers attending the event in Indianapolis. He also showed off his impressive leaping ability with a 36 ½-inch vertical jump and 10'5" in the broad jump. In the weight room, he tied for fifth among the receivers by bench pressing 225 pounds an impressive nineteen times, checking in at 219 pounds.

Prior to putting on a Razorbacks uniform for the first time, Childs was a 2007 All-State selection following his senior season for head coach Bo Hembree at Warren High School. As a junior, he racked up 65 receptions, including fifteen touchdowns, as he was selected to the Arkansas Democrat-Gazette all-junior team.

Childs was ranked the ninth-best overall recruit in the state of Arkansas and the 84th-best receiver in the nation by Rivals.com. He was ranked ninth on the HawgSports.com Natural 21 list by Hawgs Illustrated. He was also ranked 72nd among the nation's received and earned a three-star rating from Scout.com, as that recruiting service regarded him as the fifth-best overall prep player out of Arkansas.

Childs was recruited by Tennessee, Ole Miss, Colorado, Mississippi State and Texas Tech, but was lured to Arkansas by Razorbacks recruiter Tim Horton, signing his national letter-of-intent on July 26th, 2007. He contributed immediately as a 205-pound true freshman, even starting one game (vs. South Carolina) while pulling in eighteen passes for 273 yards (15.17 ypc) and two touchdowns through twelve contests.

Part of the receiver rotation in 2009, Childs went on to start eight games at split end, including Arkansas' first five contests. He led the team with 48 receptions, as his 894 receiving yards placed eighth on the school season-record list and his seven touchdowns tied for seventh on the Arkansas annual record chart.

Childs was well on his way to postseason honors in 2010, starting seven of the team's first eight games at the "X" receiver position. Despite suffering a patella tendon tear that would sideline him for the Razorbacks' final five contests, he ranked third on the squad with 46 catches for 659 yards (14.33 ypc) and six touchdowns.

Hoping to show his skills to National Football League teams after his senior campaign, Childs accepted an invitation to play in the 2012 East-West Shrine Game when he was not one of the hundred players to get the nod to play in the Senior Bowl. He used his solid week of practices as a springboard for an even more impressive performance a month later at the 2012 NFL Scouting Combine.

While that Combine performance was enough to impress NFL teams, Childs set out to dazzle them, which he did when the evaluators arrived in Arkansas for Pro Day in early March, 2012. On a day full of interesting results from Pro Days scattered across the country (from UCLA to Illinois to Georgia Tech), it was the workout in Fayetteville, Arkansas that had scouts buzzing. That's because Childs stole the spotlight again after demonstrating much greater explosiveness in measureable and positional drills from what he showed les than two weeks prior at the Scouting Combine.

In doing so, Childs helped to prove that perhaps he's regained the explosiveness that made him a star in the Southeastern Conference before partially injuring the patella tendon in his right knee in 2010 and reinjuring the knee last year. Childs was clocked at 4.41 seconds in the 40-yard dash and also improved his vertical jump significantly, posting a 41.5" vertical that would have tied Stanford's Chris Owusu for third among all receivers tested in Indianapolis this year.

"It was just mainly showing everybody that I was healthy again; showing everybody I was 100 percent," Childs told reporters following the workout. "I came out here and I had some scouts tell me, 'You look 100 percent. You look as explosive as ever.'" League sources couldn't have agreed more. "He looked like he was back," a high-ranking official from an NFC team told me. "Honestly, he looked better than he did before. I wouldn't have estimated him as a 4.40 guy based off of tape so this was great workout for him. There was a bit of a buzz about [Childs' workout] as we left."

Childs believes his performance at Arkansas' on-campus Pro Day sent a strong message. He's completely healthy. Finally. "Numbers don't lie, you know?" Childs said with a big smile that Tuesday afternoon. "Numbers don't lie." The receiver was among 20 former Razorbacks working out for NFL personnel inside the Walker Pavilion, trying to make an impression less than two months before the 2012 NFL Draft.

Childs flashed reminders of his potential. "It was just mainly showing everybody that I was healthy again, showing everybody I was 100 percent," Childs said. "I had some scouts tell me like, ‘You look 100 percent. You look explosive as ever.'"

While the receiver's surgically repaired right knee was cleared by trainers as being healthy enough to play on in 2011, Childs admitted at his pro day that he may have come back too quickly and it contributed to his season-long struggles as a senior. "I think I came back before I should have," Childs said. "If I would have redshirted, I would have been better. Right now, I'm at 100-percent now."

CAREER NOTES
Childs started 19-of-44 games at Arkansas – eight at split end, seven at flanker and four at slot receiver…Ranks ninth on the school career-record list with 133 receptions, as he became one of seven Razorbacks to gain over 2,000 yards receiving (ranks seventh all-time with 2,066) at the university…His 894 receiving yards in 2009 rank eighth on the school season-record chart…Tied for tenth all-time in school annals with fifteen touch-down catches, as his seven scoring grabs in 2009 placed tied for seventh on the Razor-backs' season-record chart…Also recorded a solo tackle vs. Tennessee Tech in 2010.

2011 SEASON
Childs was a preseason All-Southeastern Conference first-team choice by the league's coaches and a member of the Maxwell Award Watch List (annually honors college foot-ball's most outstanding player since 1937)…Battled back from 2010 right knee surgery, but tweaked his knee and was forced to miss the Vanderbilt clash…Also did not play vs. Troy after returning home to attend his grandmother's funeral…Played in eleven games, starting vs. Missouri State, Texas A&M and Louisiana State when the team utilized a multiple receiver formation…Finished sixth on the team with 21 receptions for 2340 yards (11.43 ypc), but did not score any touchdowns…In his first game back on the gridiron after 2010 knee surgery, Childs had two catches for 29 yards vs. Missouri State…Added 44 yards on four receptions vs. Auburn…Caught eleven passes in the Razorbacks' final three games, making three grabs for 32 yards vs. Mississippi State, adding 40 yards on three more catches vs. Louisiana State before closing out his career with five receptions for 48 yards vs. Kansas State in the Cotton Bowl.

2010 SEASON
Childs was named to the Biletnikoff Award Watch List (nation's top receiver) and appeared in eight games with seven starts at flanker before suffering a season-ending injury in the Razorbacks' 49-14 victory vs. Vanderbilt…At the time of his injury, Childs led the team with 659 receiving yards and six touchdowns on 46 catches (14.33 ypc), as that total finished third on the squad for the schedule…Still managed to tie for the team lead in touchdowns, and the junior had two 100-yard receiving games to tie for the eighth-highest total in the Southeastern Conference…Posted a career-high 12 receptions, tied for the third-most in a game in school history, for 146 yards and a career-high-tying two touchdowns vs. Louisiana-Monroe…Also grabbed two touchdowns and a career-high 164 yards on nine catches at Auburn…Snared three passes for 82 yards, including the game-winning touch-down from 40 yards out with 15 seconds left, in the Razorbacks' 31-24 victory at Georgia
Made six receptions for 65 yards in the Razorbacks' 24-17 win vs. Texas A&M…In a 38-24 defeat of Mississippi, he hauled in four passes for 45 yards and one touchdown…Childs grabbed five passes for 87 yards vs. Vanderbilt before being injured early in the fourth quarter…The receiver underwent surgery, as Razorbacks head coach Bobby Petrino said Childs would miss the rest of the season after suffering a knee injury in a win over Vanderbilt. Petrino said Childs, who suffered a patella tendon injury but didn't injure any knee ligaments, was expected to need four to six months of recovery time…Childs injured his knee while making a 17-yard catch early in the fourth quarter of a 49-14 win over the Commodores. The reception broke the school record for yards passing in a game for quarterback Ryan Mallett, who finished with 409 yards passing in the win.

2009 SEASON
Childs played in thirteen games, starting eight contests, including the team's first five clashes, along with vs. Mississippi, Mississippi State and Louisiana State at split end…
Led team with 48 catches, 894 yards (eight on the school season-record list), seven touchdowns (tied for sixth on the UA annual record chart), 68.77 yards per game and three 100-yard receiving performances…His 18.6 yards per catch ranked second on the squad, as the sophomore was 53rd in the nation and fourth in the SEC in yards per game, and eighth in the SEC with 3.69 receptions per game...Led all receivers in SEC play only with six receiving touchdowns, 737 yards, 92.1 yards per game and 23.0 yards per catch, as 34 of his 48 catches resulted in first downs…Opened the year with four catches for 50 yards vs. Missouri State and followed with five grabs for a career-high two touchdowns and a season-high 140 yards vs. Georgia. His 140 receiving yards were the most by any Razor-back in a game in 2009..Had four for 60 yards and a score at Alabama…Added five for 85 and a score vs. Auburn, four catches for 135 and a career-long 73-yard touchdown at Florida, and three snatches for 83 yards at Mississippi…In the Louisiana State game, he pulled in five catches for 124 yards...In the Liberty Bowl victory over East Carolina, he had three for 32 yards.

2008 SEASON
Childs played in twelve games and started at slot receiver vs. South Carolina…Finished the year with 18 catches for 273 yards and two touchdowns…Averaged 15.2 yards per reception, which was third on the team among those with multiple catches…Had six grabs for 88 yards vs. Western Illinois, as he scored his first touchdown a 26-yarder from Casey Dick in the fourth quarter as part of Arkansas' come-from-behind win. He caught four of his six receptions in the final two scoring drives vs. Western Illinois, including three for first downs, one on a third and four. His six catches for 88 yards were season highs…One of Childs' two catches vs. Alabama went for a first down and he had a third-down-and-long catch for 11 yards vs. Texas…Childs had solid performances vs. Auburn and Ole Miss with 61 receiving yards in each contest, catching a season-long pass of 39 yards vs. Auburn and picked up a team-leading three first downs through receptions...His second touch-down reception of the year came vs. the Rebels on a 22-yard pass from Dick late in the fourth quarter. Childs made two catches for 61 yards vs. Ole Miss, including a season-long tying 39-yard grab and a 22-yard touchdown. Both catches went for first downs and led to Arkansas scores. He accounted for five first downs in the win…Made his first career start vs. South Carolina where he nabbed one catch for six yards.

INJURY REPORT
2010 Season…Childs suffered a right knee patella tendon injury vs. Vanderbilt, missing the team's final five games. He was not cleared to return to off-season practices until May, 2012 after undergoing surgery, but did arrive at April camp without wearing the brace he was required to wear after surgery was performed.
2011 Season…Struggled throughout August camp while continuing to recover from right knee surgery…Tweaked the knee in practice prior to the Vanderbilt clash and did not play vs. the Commodores.

AGILITY TESTS
4.40 in the 40-yard dash…1.51 10-yard dash…2.50 20-yard dash…4.21 20-yard shuttle…
6.93 three-cone drill…40 ½-inch vertical jump…10'7" broad jump…Bench pressed 225 pounds 19 times…34 1/8-inch arm length…10 1/8-inch hands…81 5/8-inch wingspan.

HIGH SCHOOL
Childs attended Warren (Ark.) High School, playing football for head coach Bo Hembree…
2007 All-State selection following his senior season…As a junior, he racked up 65 catches, including fifteen touchdowns, as he was selected to the Arkansas Democrat-Gazette all-junior team…Ranked the ninth-best overall recruit in the state of Arkansas and the 84th-best receiver in the nation by Rivals.com...Ranked ninth on the HawgSports.com Natural 21 list by Hawgs Illustrated…Also ranked 72nd among the nation's received and earned a three-star rating from Scout.com, as that recruiting service regarded him as the fifth-best overall prep player out of Arkansas.

PERSONAL
Sociology major…Son of Carla and Gregory Childs…Born 3/10/90…Resides in Warren, Arkansas.

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