TE John Carlson, Free agent

HT: 6-4, WT: 255, Born: 5-12-1984, College: Notre Dame, Drafted: Round 2

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2014 Projections

David Dodds14.020.020610.31.027
Bob Henry14.024.024010.01.030
Jason Wood16.038.040510.73.059
Maurile Tremblay16.024.024610.22.037

2014 Schedule


2013 Game Summaries

Week 1 - Carlson's one target was a horribly thrown ball well behind the tight end which resulted in his getting hammered by a Lions defender. Carlson continues to be a very expensive blocker more than anything else.

Week 2 - Carlson was only the target of a couple of passes and still seems as though he is a large waste of money for the Vikings. He did receive the ball at the end of the game when the Bears ahead by one point squibbed a kick at him. Carlson caught the ball and then coughed it up in the scrum. The Bears recovered and the game ended. On the replay you could see Carlson holding the ball away from his body like a loaf of bread and the defenders just ripped it from his hands.

Week 3 - Carlson nearly started off his day with a touchdown, as Christian Ponder targeted him in the end zone. Ponder threw the ball too late though and it gave defensive back Buster Skrine a chance to deflect the ball away from Carlson and prevent the touchdown. Carlson was also hit on a screen pass but gained no yards on the second and short play.

Week 6 - Carlson may go down in NFL history as the most expensive blocker in the NFL as his 23 snaps were largely ones he either blocked on a run or a pass. Carlson was targeted late on short passes and he did a fine job gaining an extra yard or two once the ball was in his hands. However, there doesn’t seem to be a long-term agenda to use him for much more than they have been.

Week 7 - Carlaon saw very little action, just an incomplete pass on a crossing route and a nice catch for a first down to extend a drive late in the fourth quarter.

Week 8 - As is usually the case, John Carlson continues to be the most expensive blocking decoy in the league. On the field for just 11 snaps, Carlson continues to seem like a tremendous waste of a roster spot. He very rarely is asked to do much and that doesn’t seem like it will change anytime soon.

Week 9 - After Kyle Rudolph left the game in the third quarter, Johns Carlson was targeted by Christian Ponder five times in the last one and a half quarters, including three times on the final drive when the Vikings were trying to tie the game. While none of his catches stood out and most of them were short, Carlson could see a lot more targets with Rudolph out.

Week 10 - With tight end Kyle Rudolph out for the season, John Carlson not only started but excelled in his place. Carslon led the team in targets and was thrown to at multiple down and distance and on both short and long routes. What’s more, Carlson caught everything which came his way, including a 28-yard touchdown in the third quarter to pull the Vikings to within one touchdown. On the play, Carlson lined up one spot to the right of the right tackle. At the snap, he briefly engaged the incoming defender, then slipped out on a route. He was wide open immediately and didn’t have a defender within five yards of him. The corners and safeties were both deep and didn’t react at all to the tight end as he broke towards the left sideline on what was basically a “slant” route. Ponder delivered a great pass and Carlson turned upfield towards the end zone. He stiff armed one defender and then dove for the corner pylon for the touchdown. Carlson had, until now, seemed like a waste of money on the part of the Vikings, however this week he looked like he was worth every penny.

Week 11 - With Kyle Rudolph out, John Carlson has emerged as a useful target for this offense and his ability—dormant until Rudolph was hurt—begs the question as to why the team rarely used dual tight end sets. Not surprisingly, he was less effective against the Seahawks after a breakout game against Washington. Carlson suffered in part because both Christian Ponder and Matt Cassel were under constant pressure but also because the gameplan went away from him quite often. He did a good job with the targets he got though, and was able to haul in a big pass late in the game. With 8:37 left in the quarter, Carlson ran a “go” route and split the defenders in the secondary. Quarterback Matt Cassel threw one of his better balls, hitting Carlson in stride for a big gain. With more consistent quarterback play, Carlson could be a real threat in this offense.

Week 12 - The first pass John Carlson saw was nearly picked off by cornerback Davon House, who baited quarterback Christian Ponder by dropping back off the route and making it look like he had misplayed the route. Luckily, House dropped the ball and Ponder was able to continue the drive. Aside from that, Carlson and Ponder seemed to be on the same page and each of Carlson’s catches resulted in a first down. He showed good hands and crisp routes as well as an ability to turn upfield and get additional yards. Carlson continues to show off receiving skills which have lain dormant since his first two seasons in the NFL.

Week 13 - John Carlson continues to remind everyone why they were so excited with him back in his rookie season as he is able to use his size, speed and athleticism to make big plays now that he doesn’t spend all game blocking. Three of his catches were for more than first-down yardage and one in particular—a 22-yard reception—was a beautiful catch where he had to turn his body while jumping into the air to nab the Matt Cassel pass. Several of the longer gains were because Carlson has shown a penchant for shaking the initial coverage and then finding running room to gain extra yards. Losing Kyle Rudolph seemed like a big blow for this offense, but Carlson has been more than up to the task of filling in.

Week 14 - Before leaving late in the game because of a potential concussion, tight end John Carlson had a few nice catches. Well-covered throughout the day, Carlson fought hard for the passes which came his way. His first catch featured a great leaping catch where he jumped high to make the play. The second catch actually featured Carlson getting wide open on a short out, then turning upfield once he had the ball in his hands. He was tackled moments later (after gaining the first down) and tossed to the ground hard. There’s a good chance that’s where he sustained his concussion.