We’re starting to get into the portion of the offseason where we get various rankings of positional groups and things of that nature. One such list has just come out from the mothership at SB Nation, and it can be interpreted a couple of different ways.
The list rates the top ten groups of wide receivers in the National Football League, and the Minnesota Vikings come in at #4 on the list. While it’s nice to see them ranked that high, I’m not sure how much of a function that is of having a great wide receiver “corps” as much as having the best tandem of wide receivers in the league in Adam Thielen and Stefon Diggs. The three receiving groups that ranked ahead of the Vikings belong to the Atlanta Falcons, the Cleveland Browns, and the Los Angeles Rams.
Here’s what they said about the group.
Thielen exploded with eight straight 100+ yard receiving performances to start last season before cooling off over the last half of the year. Diggs helped pick up where he left off with the first 1,000-yard season of his budding career.
And then after that pairing, things get grim. Treadwell’s overwhelming mediocrity — he has 56 catches in three NFL seasons — led the Vikings to decline the fifth-year option attached to his rookie contract as a former first-round pick. Chad Beebe and Brandon Zylstra combined for five receptions in 2018. Rookies Dillon Mitchell and Olabisi Johnson each lasted well into the 200s at this year’s draft.
But if Treadwell or another of those players can make any kind of appreciable leap, Kirk Cousins will have no excuse not to thrive in the Twin Cities.
Once you get beyond Diggs and Thielen on the depth chart, the cupboard is a bit bare. As we talked about earlier this week, Treadwell currently checks in as the #3 receiver, but that’s almost as much by default as anything else. He’s going to have plenty of competition for that spot, and while his contract might make him prohibitive to cut right now, there’s no guarantee he’s going to get snaps for the Vikings this season.
The battle for the #3 wide receiver spot for the Vikings is going to be one of the more interesting battles of training camp. If the Vikings are going to live up to this ranking going forward, they’re going to need someone to step up behind their two stars and establish themselves as a credible threat.