The Vikings almost got past the defending NFC Champions today at home but in the end Blair Walsh missed a field goal late in the fourth quarter that put them out of the playoffs. Seattle’s offense came alive in the fourth quarter as they held on to win 10-9 in Minnesota.
Adrian Peterson ran for 45 yards on 23 carries trying to carry the team on his back. Teddy Bridgewater was 17 of 24 with 146 yards passing but the lack of a playmaker at receiver really was glaring today in the loss. Rookie Stefon Diggs quickly became Bridgewater’s favorite receiver this year and caught 52 passes for 720 yards. Diggs in only his first year in the league showed a lot of upside but it’s obvious that Minnesota needs another receiver to stretch the field and keep teams from keying on Peterson. Mike Wallace hasn’t panned out like they had hoped and it’s time they go in a different direction for the future.
The Vikings will be picking late in the draft due to their position in the playoffs. The final order won’t be set until after the Super Bowl but Minnesota will have an opportunity to grab a young prospect at receiver in the first or second round if that’s what they want to do. Laquon Treadwell from Ole Miss will probably be gone by the time Minnesota picks but there are still options.
Michael Thomas from Ohio State could be there when the Vikings pick late in the first round. Thomas terrorized defenses in the Big Ten all year and is a viable playmaker for Bridgwater to throw to. Corey Coleman from Baylor is another top receiver who could make a difference in Minnesota. Coleman can make some spectacular catches and also can make plays in space. A screen pass could go for a long touchdown if he can make the first guy miss.
If the Vikings go for another position in the first round they will still have some blue chippers to pick from in the second. Josh Doctson from TCU is a star who has great hands, is quicker than he appears and knows how to get open. He could sink in the draft due to a wrist injury he sustained in November. If he’s healthy he could bolster the Vikings receiving corps. Another intriguing prospect is Tyler Boyd from Pittsburgh. He has flown under the radar and could be there late in the second too but it’s thought he could go in the first or second round depending on how high his stock climbs before the draft.
A darkhorse in the draft is Pharaoh Cooper from South Carolina. Cooper didn’t get to shine last year due to injury at the QB position. As a sophomore he caught 69 balls for 1136 yards and 9 TDs. Last year he was often the best player on the field but the Gamecocks couldn’t get him involved in the offense due to double teams. Cooper still had five games with over 100 yards receiving and torched some pretty good defenses like Vanderbilt, LSU and Missouri. The South Carolina receiver isn’t as sexy as Laquon Treadwell but he has the potential to be a starter in the NFL. It’s thought he could go anywhere from the third to seventh round.
The Vikings have plenty of options and don’t necessarily have to go for a receiver in round one. But if Minnesota expects to take the next step and make Teddy Bridgewater a better quarterback that is the position they need to put the most emphasis on.