Everyone can talk about their hot takes from past NFL Drafts and how they managed to get one right, but the SB Nation family of NFL blogs is taking a bit of a different approach as we get closer to this year’s selection meeting.
Yes, it’s time for a “cold take” from draft coverages past concerning our Minnesota Vikings, and I’m going to look back at my reaction to a take that I think pretty much everyone got wrong when the dust settled.
Going into the 2016 NFL Draft, the Minnesota Vikings needed a wide receiver. . .or so everybody thought. After all, Stefon Diggs was coming off of a solid rookie season where he led the Vikings in receiving with a whopping 720 yards and Adam Thielen was still just a guy from Detroit Lakes who had worked his way up to the main roster from the practice squad through his special teams work (he had all of 12 receptions in 2015). With young Teddy Bridgewater entrenched as the starting quarterback, the team needed to get him some more weapons to work with.
Enter Old Miss star receiver Laquon Treadwell, who the Vikings took at #23 overall in the 2016 NFL Draft. Treadwell had a great career for the Bulldogs, albeit one that was marred by injury toward the end. He was the fourth wide receiver off the board in that year’s class, and I thought the Vikings really had something.
With the release of Mike Wallace, there’s a spot at the top of the depth chart, and barring something unexpected, Treadwell will be in competition for a starting job as soon as he steps on to the practice field at Winter Park. He’s a big receiver, provides QB Teddy Bridgewater with an excellent target, and represents a significant upgrade at receiver for the team.
Treadwell did not compete for a starting job with the Vikings as a rookie. . .in his first year with the team, he had one more reception than you did. He didn’t really compete for a starting job during the rest of his Vikings’ tenure, either. Now, obviously some of that had to do with the emergence of Diggs and Thielen and some of it might have had to do with Mike Zimmer just not wanting to put him on the field. Whatever the reason was, it’s hard to classify the selection of Treadwell as anything but a complete flop for the Vikings, and he didn’t really “represent a significant upgrade at receiver” for the Vikings, either.
I obviously wan’t the only person that thought that Treadwell would be a fit with the Vikings. As I pointed out recently, Treadwell was one of the more widely-mocked picks to Minnesota in our Mock Draft Database for that year’s Draft. However, he wound up completely busting in Minnesota, and even though he seems to have found a little bit of life now with the Jacksonville Jaguars, it’s nowhere near what many of us were envisioning when the Vikings drafted him back in 2016.
What are some of your “cold takes” from past drafts, folks? Feel free to share them in the comments here.