Don’t be surprised if the Minnesota Vikings draft a wide receiver, possibly in the later rounds of the draft.
The Vikings have one of the best wide receiver duos in the NFL in Stefon Diggs and Adam Thielen.
Diggs and Thielen combined for 215 receptions for 2,394 yards and 18 touchdowns in 2018. What’s even more impressive is where they were drafted. Specifically, where they weren’t.
Diggs was a fifth-round pick from Maryland while Thielen was an undrafted free agent out of Minnesota State-Mankato.
While the duo has been a staple for the Vikings passing game over the last couple seasons, something or someone has been missing.
A number three receiver.
Although the Vikings still have Kyle Rudolph as a solid tight end, the team could be looking for another pass catcher for Kirk Cousins in the 2019 NFL draft.
Aside from Chad Beebe who caught four passes for 39 yards in 2018, and Brandon Zylstra (one catch for 23 yards) don’t have another wide receiver on the roster other than Laquon Treadwell (who I’ll get to later) who caught a pass last season.
After the 2017 season, the Vikings let Jarius Wright walk in free agency.
Wright had been one of the teams more promising receivers but ultimately fell to the third wide receiver on the depth chart after the emergence of Diggs and Thielen.
The Arkansas product was selected by the Vikings in the fourth round of the 2012 NFL Draft.
After the 2017 season, Wright went on to sign a three-year deal with the Panthers worth 7.5 million with 2 million coming in guarantees. Wright responded by catching a career-high 43 passes which was good enough for fourth on an offense that primarily focuses on Christian McCaffrey as its main offensive weapon.
In the 2016 NFL draft, the Vikings selected Laquon Treadwell with the 23rd overall pick, hoping that the Ole Miss product would quickly become the team’s #1 wideout.
That hasn’t happened.
In his first season with the Vikings, Treadwell caught one pass for 15 yards. That’s not a typo. He only caught one pass all season.
Since 2016, Treadwell has only caught 55 passes for 502 yards and one touchdown. Those aren’t the numbers of a number one receiver.
After a week two 29-29 tie in with the Green Bay Packers in which Treadwell dropped a critical third-down pass, the Vikings immediately signed Aldrick Robinson.
Robinson and Cousins had a past, including the two having spent time with the Washington Redskins from 2012 to 2014.
The Southern Methodist product signed a one-year deal with Minnesota worth $790,000.
Robinson proved to be worth the money, as the former 49er caught 17 passes for 231 yards including five of which went for touchdowns. Robinson is currently a free agent.
The Vikings could possibly be in the hunt or upgrade for a better number three receiver. Although the obvious draft need for the Vikings is the offensive line, the team could still look to give Cousins another weapon.
The earlier rounds can and will be used for offensive lineman help for Cousins, but one more receiver could add another element to the Kevin Stefanski offense.
Only time will tell, but another pass catcher wouldn’t hurt.