Everyone knows how good the Minnesota Vikings’ main receiving tandem of Adam Thielen and Stefon Diggs are. Diggs just made his debut on the NFL Top 100 list, checking in at #65, and while Thielen’s name hasn’t been added to the list yet, it’s not a matter of if he’ll be there, it’s a matter of when he’ll be named.
The folks from Pro Football Focus have taken notice of the talent level, as they’ve proclaimed that the Vikings have the best group of wide receivers in the National Football League. It wasn’t just Diggs and Thielen that got all the praise, either.
Here’s what PFF had to say about the group (the link is behind the great E$PN paywall).
Stefon Diggs and Adam Thielen were the best wide receiver duo in the game last season. Though neither can challenge the likes of Antonio Brown as the game’s best at the position, they did more to help their quarterback as a pair than any one receiver in the league. Diggs led all receivers in contested catch rate (64.5 percent), while Thielen ranked in the top six, meaning they led the league in contested catch rate as a duo. They were the only wide receiver pairing to both rank inside the top 10 in overall PFF grade in 2017. The key now becomes what depth looks like behind them in 2018. Kendall Wright was signed in free agency and can be a capable slot weapon, but Laquon Treadwell’s time is running out to prove he can make any kind of impact. Stacy Coley graded extremely well in the preseason a year ago, catching 10 of 16 targets, and could pass Treadwell on the depth chart.
Given that it would cost the Vikings more to cut Treadwell this season than it would cost to keep him around, I’m guessing he’s going to get one more last chance. I’m surprised that the folks from PFF think as highly as Coley as they do. That’s not a knock on Coley or anything, he just didn’t see a whole lot of action during the regular season, that’s all.
It’s going to be tough for guys like Brandon Zylstra or Jake Wieneke to make the roster as undrafted free agents at the receiver position this season, barring some sort of injury. But, stranger things have happened, I suppose. The Vikings usually carry five wide receivers, as far as I can remember, so the competition for spots at the bottom of the depth chart this July and August should be an interesting one.
In PFF’s other rankings of the top units in the NFL, the Vikings appear as one of the two honorable mentions in both the defensive interior and special teams categories, but that was it. Nothing for the team’s secondary, which is a bit of a surprise.
PFF does point out that no group of receivers “helped” their quarterback in 2017 than the Vikings’ receivers did. It will be interesting to see how they fare when paired with a quarterback that, from everything we’ve been led to believe, shouldn’t need as much “help” from his receiving corps.