Entering the draft, wide receiver was the clearly the top need for the Minnesota Vikings. Corey Coleman (No. 15 to the Cleveland Browns), Will Fuller (No. 21 to the Houston Texans) and Josh Doctson (No. 22 to the Washington Redskins) were the first three wide receivers drafted, which may have put the Vikings in a position to trade down from No. 23.
Doctson would have been my pick for the Vikings, but Ole Miss wide receiver Laquon Treadwell was the clear, obvious pick as the best wideout available. There are concerns over his slow 40-yard dash time, but Treadwell has the size (6-foot-2, 221 pounds), production (202 career receptions at Ole Miss) and skill set that says he can be a No. 1 receiver at the next level.
A wide receiver who can stretch the field stood out as a specific need for Minnesota, but the vertical passing game is clearly not quarterback Teddy Bridgewater‘s strength. Treadwell can win in the short and intermediate areas of the field, with ball skills, body control and overall physical style to be a reliable target.
I compare Treadwell favorably to Keyshawn Johnson, who was drafted No. 1 overall in 1996 and finished with 814 receptions and earned three Pro Bowl selections over 11 NFL seasons. Treadwell hopefully has a higher ceiling than Johnson wound up having, but their skill sets are remarkably similar.
The Vikings have been missing a consistent producer at wide receiver for over a decade. So if solid, possibly boring to the casual fan production over a number of years is Treadwell’s floor, that is a big win.