Thursday, April 28, 2016

Vikings Select Laquon Treadwell in First Round

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The Vikings added a weapon for Teddy Bridgewater by selecting Ole Miss wide receiver Laquon Treadwell with the 23rd selection of the 2016 NFL Draft. 

Updated: April 28th, 2016 3:00pm

By: Daniel House

The Vikings' recent draft haul has provided a talent injection to their roster. With the likes of Stefon Diggs, Eric Kendricks, and Danielle Hunter, the Minnesota roster was elevated to a playoff caliber level last year. The 2016 NFL Draft is another opportunity to address needs, while drafting to add the best possible players to the roster. 

The Minnesota Vikings wasted no time to address a glaring weakness by selecting a wide receiver with the 23rd selection in the 2016 NFL Draft.

The Minnesota Vikings added wide receiver Laquon Treadwell out of Ole Miss in the first round.

Treadwell is the all-time leading pass catcher in Ole Miss history with 202 career receptions (seventh-most in SEC history) in three seasons. He finished his career ranked third in school history with 2,393 receiving yards, third with 21 TD catches and tied for second with nine career 100-yard receiving games.

For much of the offseason, wide receiver has been one of the main positional needs for the Vikings. It was a necessity to find Teddy Bridgewater a playmaker to stretch the field. Drafting Laquon Treadwell is a step in the right direction. The size and physicality of Treadwell adds a wide receiver with a large catch radius to the Minnesota roster. Finding a red zone threat that can help the Vikings convert inside the 20-yard line was an area of emphasis entering the draft process.

Treadwell is a crafty route runner who knows how to high-point the football. His muddy combine and pro-day numbers raise concerns about his speed. However, he is so polished as a route runner and is easily the most refined prospect in this class. Not to mention, the upgrade he can provide in the red zone is exactly what the Vikings have been yearning for.

Additionally, adding a playmaker was a priority for a team like Minnesota who needed more game-changing options in the passing game. With a well-developed attack through the air, the team can work towards a balance with the running game. 

Last season, the Vikings ranked 31st in passing offense among the 32 NFL teams. The combination of poor offensive line play and limited weapons contributed to their struggles offensively. 

Minnesota added free agent offensive lineman Alex Boone and Andre Smith to bolster the offensive line. Now, with the addition of Treadwell, they have addressed two critical issues that haunted their offense in 2016. Moving forward, they can add the best value at each selection for the remainder of the draft. 

I'll have more thoughts from head coach Mike Zimmer and GM Rick Spielman, along with first round selection Laquon Treadwell in my next post. 

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