Laquon Treadwell, WR, Ole Miss
Whilst a gut wrenching playoff loss may be the freshest football memory in Vikings fans minds, this is a team that can look back at last season and feel positive about the direction the team is headed. Minnesota won the division for the first time since they were being lead by Brett Favre, but this time did it on the back of a stingy defense and the league's top running game.
Looking at the team there are two obvious needs to fill, and both lie on offense. One of those is the offensive line, which was a shambles last year. They ranked 29th in pass protection in DVOA, allowing the 6th most sacks in the league. PFF had 3 of 5 starters ranked in the bottom half of the league. However steps have already been made to improve the unit. Zimmer "didn't want to" extend the O-Line coach's contact, so he didn't. The team's strength coach was also fired. Alex Boone was added in free agency, who'll hopefully slot in at LG, allowing Fusco to move back to RG, and give an instant upgrade to the unit.
The other one is wide receiver. For a team with their franchise QB seemingly in place, the passing attack last year was dire. They were 31st in passing yards and touchdowns... Ouch. Their leading receiver only played 13 games: rookie Stefon Diggs, who had 720 yards - good for 52nd in the league. Fortunately he's only 22, so there's a lot of promise there for the future. However the rest of the receiving corps is poor at best. Wright and Thielen are the only other two receivers on the roster who registered more than 10 receptions last year (34 and 12 respectively). In short, this is potentially the thinnest group in the whole league. At any position! Hence why this is the area I've chosen to address.
The pick: Laquon Treadwell, WR, Ole Miss
With Doctson off the board it came down to Coleman v Treadwell, and at this point I feel that Treadwell is far more complete and suited to the Vikings. Treadwell has been seen as the number one receiver available in this class for a long time now, and to be able to snag him here would be a steal for the Vikings.
Starting by looking at his measurables (allowing me to put in the obligatory spider graph) the first thing that everyone wants to talk about is the lack of elite speed. Whilst he elected not to run at the combine he did put up a time of 4.63 at his pro day, which was roughly what many expected. Speed is constantly overrated, and whilst he won't eat up cushions there's plenty more to his game to suggest this won't be an issue.
At 6'2" and 221lbs Treadwell has good height and a great muscular frame. This helps him go up strong to win contested balls with relative ease, using his long arms to his advantage to snag balls out of the air. He rarely uses his body to help catch, plucking the ball out of the air with his strong hands. He possesses a good ability to put his big frame between the defender and the ball, assisting him in snagging 50/50 passes. There's an understanding that he'll receive a lot of press coverage due to the lack of speed but he has the physical traits to make up for it at the line of scrimmage.
Treadwell perfectly placing his body between the defender and ball:
He has an aggressive mindset, and plays with plenty of heart. His lack of elite speed is made up for in some respect by his assertiveness, never doing anything on the field with hesitation. The mentality for pro football is certainly there, never shying away from contact and always prepared for a physical battle. This determined mindset should help him progress and improve the range of routes that he runs, as he currently hasn't run a full tree.
Although it's an afterthought when evaluating wide receivers, Treadwell's blocking cannot be ignored. The ability he possesses when it comes to blocking is almost on a TE level. His eagerness to light up opposing DBs at any opportunity is second to none, which gives him added value to a team like the Vikings who lean on their run game so heavily.
See 00:41 onwards for blocking ability:
Overall considering value and need Treadwell would be the perfect addition to the Vikings, hopefully becoming a reliable target for years to come.
2016 BGN Mock Draft Order
1) Titans (ablesser88) - Laremy Tunsil, OT, Ole Miss - [Explanation]
2) Browns ( Genius) - Carson Wentz, QB, North Dakota State - [Explanation]
3) Chargers (StoneColeKiller58) - Jared Goff, QB, Cal - [Explanation]
4) Cowboys (kamjam) - Ezekiel Elliott, RB, Ohio State - [Explanation]
5) Jaguars (drc242) - Jalen Ramsey, DB, Florida State - [Explanation]
6) Ravens (rohan915) - DeForest Buckner, DE, Oregon - [Explanation]
7) 49ers (LAOJoe) - Myles Jack, LB, UCLA - [Explanation]
8) Eagles (slickpablovick) - Ronnie Stanley, OT, Notre Dame - [Explanation]
9) Buccaneers (OneBucFan47) - Noah Spence, DE, Eastern Kentucky - [Explanation]
10) Giants (Paulie97) - Vernon Hargreaves, CB, Florida - [Explanation]
11) Bears (Kiko's Delivery Service) - Joey Bosa, DE, Ohio State - [Explanation]
12) Saints (kylebruneault) - Shaq Lawson, DE, Clemson - [Explanation]
13) Dolphins (wildcatlh) - Eli Apple, CB, Ohio State - [Explanation]
14) Raiders (Luxury_Used_Vehicles_By_Braman) - Jack Conklin, OT, Michigan State - [Explanation]
15) Rams (NowWhat?) - Paxton Lynch, QB, Memphis - [Explanation]
16) Lions (bri g) - Jason Sprigs, OT, Indiana - [Explanation]
17) Falcons (thealien2696) - Darron Lee, LB, Ohio State - [Explanation]
18) Colts (ei78) - Jaylon Smith, LB, Notre Dame - [Explanation]
19) Bills (naderg43) - Sheldon Rankins, DT, Louisville - [Explanation]
20) Jets (Quacking_Eagle) - Leonard Floyd, OLB, Georgia - [Explanation]
21) Washington (TheCoxishere) - Ryan Kelly, C, Alabama - [Explanation]
22) Texans (jeppsforst) - Josh Doctson, WR, TCU - [Explanation]
23) Vikings (WScott151) - Laquon Treadwell, WR, Ole Miss - [Explanation]
24) Bengals (burkhart_b) -
25) Steelers (theaction) -
26) Seahawks (tfrank9811) -
27) Packers (3Trace) -
28) Chiefs (jawmo) -
N/A) Patriots - Cheaters
29) Cardinals (big DUB) -
30) Panthers (zatch2k) -
31) Broncos (JALupowitz) -